Tagged “books”

  1. Coverless ebooks

    Via a link in this instalment of The Convivial Sociert to Home Screens and thence to more of the author, Drew Austin at Kneeling Bus.

    Far more than a container or shell for content, the cover is an interface between that content and human society, the intermediate layer that positions information in the world.

    — Drew Austin, Incipit as Infrastructure

    The essay puts its thumb on a sense of disquiet I’ve had for some time but not been able to adequately express, most recently twinged by opening a new book on my Kindle.

    It ‘helpfully’ started me off at the beginning of first chapter. As I always do, I paged back to the ‘cover’ and began again: looking for clues in the cover art, reading the front matter (partly for context, partly as a way of creating punctuation between ‘content’), bemoaning the lack of chapter names in the table of contents, pondering the obscurity of the dedications … and discovered that I had been shortchanged by the Kindle’s certainty that I need focus only on the ‘content’: there was a prologue!

    Had I relied on the Kindle’s sense of what was important and not begun at the very beginning, I would have missed a large amount of context and place-setting.

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