Near where I live there is a bookshop situated within a very old building. Inside, and behind the thin layer of chain store branding, there exists a staircase whose architectural doppelgängers you might have glimpsed in a hammer horror film.
To walk on it, a necessity if you want books on computing, cookery or travel from the first floor, would be to elicit such satisfying creaks from its boards that perhaps beforehand you would have imagined such noises to only emanate from stairs, in all their wooden glory, in the very dead of night when nothing living should rightfully be walking on them at all.
There is just something about bookshops, of which the benign yet theatrically malevolent staircase above is just one specific and uncommon example, something that is both eldritch and at the same time, homely.
I posted a tweet some time ago on the subject, how for me the air inside a bookshop has a slightly different quality to it, and not just the faint yet inevitable cocktail of wood pulp, printing ink and dust. Within my imagination, for which there is no off switch, it is the books themselves that contribute to this effect.
In my mind’s eye the books waiting there in the bookshop are a hushed crowd; sizing up the browsing bibliophile, enviously gazing out spine-wards towards other, more fortunate shelves when ignored. Regardless of which book is purchased, each represents a lifetime of experience, or adventure, or both, tightly bound into a neat little rectangle of distilled magic.
Then of course, quite literally on top of this there are book covers; tiny billboards for other worlds within.
I love designing book covers, whether they are for fiction or otherwise, by applying a custom cover design to a book you are giving it a visual identity which helps introduce it to the world. There is of course a language to cover design which aids this process; colours, fonts, layouts and imagery styles are chosen to denote genre and sub-genre, the same guiding principles can be used to assert the character of an individual book.
It is of utmost importance that your book cover is able to represent your book in the most accurate way, through style and design choices, after all your cover is there to help your book project it’s very own unique and beguiling atmosphere across a crowded bookstore, whether in print or online.
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