While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?
I’m a visual learner. I adore books with quirky layouts and font changes and little illustrations, especially fiction books where you don’t normally see these things. Special Topics in Calamity Physics and The Cheese Monkeys are good examples. For me, these additions are eye catching and they add a little visual interest to a page filled with lines of text. It’s like finding a treat in the book.
I also like photos, especially when they’re interspersed throughout the book. Or, there’s a picture at the beginning of every chapter, as in Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. What I don’t like is when the pictures are all in the middle of the book. I look at the pictures first, and they have no relevance. Then when I’m reading and something sounds familiar, I flip to the middle and check out the pictures again. It bugs me, because it interrupts the flow of the book, but I can’t seem to stop myself from looking at the pictures.
And don’t get me started on cover art. I’ve been known to buy books just because the cover caught my eye. It can be quirky, or a beautiful picture, or even an eye-catching title or color. A few of my favorites: