...is not something that I choose books based on. In fact, having looked at this list, I have read exactly zero of the winners, and exactly three (Small World (1984) and Nice Work (1988) by David Lodge, and Astonishing Splashes of Colour (2003) by Clare Morrall) of the shortlisted titles. (and the David Lodge ones were read because my parents had them and one of the covers appealed, exactly how I ended up reading Animal Farm and 1984 before I'd started senior school).
Basically, that type of writing is not my type of reading.
But this kind of thinking is my kind of thinking.
Julian Barnes, in his acceptance speech, said: "I'd like to thank the judges - whom I won't hear a word against - for their wisdom. And the sponsors for their cheque."
Thanking the book's designer, Suzanne Dean, he added: "Those of you who've seen my book - whatever you may think of its contents - will probably agree that it is a beautiful object.
"And if the physical book, as we've come to call it, is to resist the challenge of the e-book, it has to look like something worth buying and worth keeping."
Can I get a HELL YEAH!
I will freely admit to buying books based on their looks. There have been countless books where I have read a proof copy and known I wanted to buy the book, then not bought it because it just isn't nice enough to be worth the money when I've already got a proof copy. There have also been quite a few where I've made myself wait for the paperback to be released, only to be disappointed by it, and instead buy the hardback before it gets sent back to the publishers.
One year, darling Miss Emily bought me this beautiful hardback, quarter leather bound edition of The Colour of Magic from a second-hand bookshop.
Later, I discovered that the mail-order book club I was a member of had started producing these editions and I added to my set. Sadly they only ever produced up to book 18, but I do keep my eyes peeled in case one day, they decide to complete the series.
When I went down to London at the beginning of September, Mama and I spent a nice couple of hours at the British Library, and she practically had to forcibly remove me from the shop due to all the beautiful Folio Society editions that they keep in stock there. Warning; if you follow that link, prepare to be scared by the prices. Instead, I had a quick look on eBay when I got home, and Folio Society editions do turn up on there quite often.
I treated myself to this totally gorgeous slipcased edition of I Capture the Castle, for a barginous price of £8.50 (inc shipping). (the edition on the right is my original second printing copy)
Now I just need some kind person to be selling off these editions of The Hobbit and The Silmarillion at sensible prices, and I'll be a mostly happy bunny.
Mostly happy, because I'll still be lusting after this, and this, and this, and this, and this. Ooh, and these.
Anyone won the lottery recently?
PS: I'm experimenting by having set all of the above links to open in new windows/tabs. Let me know if this majorly narks you, and I'll get rid of it.