Monday 9 December 2013

Quirks in Books

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Amanda is talking about the little things you get in books that made it that little bit more special, those little quirks that make a book stand out to you.

1) Images: In many cases, I think most readers favourite little quirk is finding out that a book has wonderful illustrations. It's one thing to read a beautiful book, but when you turn a page, and find little extras, like a map relative to the story, or a symbol that the characters have seen; I always find it lovely. It makes me happy to see that the author, and the publishers have worked together to provide their readers with just that something more, a little bit of edge, a little, surprise, a gift, within their story, and everybody loves illustrations in books, don't we? The image to the right is from Winter Town by Stephen Emond, which I haven't yet read, but knowing that there'll be gorgeous wintery images waiting for me when I do try it, is even better. I might even consider buying this book in the New Year, who knows.

2) Bookmarks/Posters: Now, while I've never actually received a bookmark or poster with a book, as I don't buy box sets often, if at all, which means I'm less likely too, but for those who do, sometimes, only sometimes, they will include bookmarks or posters in with the books in the box. I think this is a lovely quirk, and is usually a full on surprise to the person buying the box set, because they only expect the books, anything else is just a blimmen' big bonus, so I find these little treats extra lovely.

3) Garnishes/Flourishes: These you usually find at the beginning of every chapter in a book, and granted, while publishers and authors don't have to include them, they are a very nice touch. I think they add something to the story, and most of the time, they match the atmosphere and theme the story has. For example, in a horror/thriller theme, you may find chapter numbers in a blood spatter, while for more fantasy/faerie style books, you may find lovely flourishes of iron curls and flowers and vines, and I think it just makes the experience of reading the book so much nicer. Plus it makes the chapter starters look even nicer.

4) Page Edges: I love it when a book has coloured page edges, and I even don't mind when a book has deckle edged pages, but coloured are my favourite. This style is most well known in the Gone series by Michael Grant, as every book has a different colour, matching the style on the front of the covers. I love this idea. I think it adds to the whole ambiance and style of the story within, and I think it just continues to make the book look lovely. Of course, coloured pages are not everyone's cup of tea, and I won't buy a book just because of this feature, but it's a nice quirk.

5) Hardback Designs: I like when publishers decide to give a hardback copy of a book a design underneath the dust-jacket, just because I think it shows how much care goes into the whole process. It's pretty easy to just whack a cover onto a hardback book that has the title in pink, but inside designs are the way forward. They allow readers who dislike the jackets not to have to compromise the design for comfort, or lose out of comfort because they like the cover so much. It's these books I like. One of the main reasons I buy paperbacks is because the actual dust-jackets frustrate me. They slide down the book, they rip and bend and damage easily, and I honestly don't see why more publishers can't go down the hardback design copy route, rather than have extra pieces of material that no-one really wants. One of the best examples of this is with The Program by Suzanne Young.

6) Odd-Sized Books: 'Woah!' I hear you say; 'Didn't you say only a few weeks ago that you wished there was a universal sized book so everything could look pretty on your shelves?' Why yes, yes I did, HOWEVER, in some cases, I do find slightly different sized books lovely, I mean width ways, not height. For example, a favourite series of mine, The Dirty Monsters series, the books are oddly sized, they are both wider and taller than most other books, but I like they are wider, because they show a kind of personality that the theme of the book has. It's different, and so are the characters inside, and so is the style of the book, and I like that. Bigger widths, not heights.

Those are some of my favourite quirks in books, what are yours? Do you like designs on Hardcovers, or do you dislike unnecessary images in your books? Let me known down below and feel free to do a post about your favourite quirks.

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