Okay, I realize that is a negative way to start a blog entry, but the fact is I got up from lounging on my bed and beginning to read Princess Ben (by Catherine Murdock) to write this entry, and that is a measure of how much I hate something.
I hate the trend in using photographs on fiction covers. I hadn’t realized how much until I looked once again at the cover on Princess Ben
and I thought two things: 1) I wouldn’t like her if I knew her and 2) That’s not what Princess Benevolence looks like. Obviously #1 is my problem, but #2 is more universal and it’s the point of this post: I like being able to imagine what a character looks like for myself. I see Princess Ben as stockier and maybe a bit plainer, too, and there are plenty of textual references to back up the stocky part. But I guess I should be happy that she has her head on at all, given the trend in covers where the girl’s head is completely cut off, right?
The other thing I hate: Great books where the publishers have cheaped out by putting significant information onto the endpapers. The worst offense is putting the info on the page that is glued to the covers. That’s what they did in the otherwise wonderful
What to do About Alice, the biography of the lively Alice Roosevelt. What were they thinking? Did they understand that if someone bought it in library binding, they would lose that information completely? Or if someone rebound the book, the same thing would happen? Or that many of us would have to make the quite annoying choice betwen jacket and information? I can only hope that having won a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award honor designation, they will spring for another pair of pages and let libraries have the back of the book information, too.