Memories of Jackets Past

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We may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but we sure can remember a book we’ve read by its jacket. While digging through very ancient books that I read for pleasure or school, I found these jackets, and the memories of the reading experience returned. What’s more, I must have started to think as a collector even in junior and senior high school. Here are three different editions each of Moby Dick and Ulysses. In both cases the books were read for assignments, and I guess I tried out editions as one would test pillows for comfort. Reading had to be comfortable and the book jackets had to support that.

The ones I felt most comfortable with? I preferred abridged and expurgated every time.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →