Book Stickers are bad, Pretend Book Stickers are worse but this Pretend Book Sticker is Genius.
I know I’m not alone in detesting the trend of publishers and book shops in plastering unsuspecting novels with stickers. Do they really believe we’re that susceptible to the vouchsafing of quality from those at the very pulse of literary criticism, Richard and Judy, and their ilk? Many of the secondhand books I buy have stickers on them, and once I’ve logged my purchases in my little notebook, alphabetically by author, I set about the painstaking process of sticker removal.
The one thing worse than stickers (apart from tv/film adaptation promotional covers, obviously) is the printed sticker. I loathe these with a vengeance. For the record, I also have issues with static caravans being static, as they clearly fail what is surely the main purpose of a caravan – to equip one with the facility to roam. Equally rage-inducing are those jumpers which have a detachable shirt collar allowing you to feign an extra layer under your woolly, which strikes me as not only ludicrous but utterly pointless, and don’t get me started on gas-fired barbeques – struggle and suffering are an essential part of the British summer al fresco eating experience! I find the pretense of all these things infuriating, and the same is true of the printed sticker. If the message on the pseudo-sticker is so important, just include it in the cover design. And breeeeathe…..
Sometimes, however, rules are there to be broken. I’ve started reading Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale For The Time Being and that has a ginormous fake sticker on the front. Before you break out in hives I have to say, it looks brilliant. The pretend sticker has been peeled back to reveal the face of a girl, Nao, whose story we learn of through her diary, washed up on a Canadian shore and found and read by Ruth. Nao’s diary has a red cover, so the peeling back of the red revealing an image of Nao beneath, beautifully invokes something of the story within the book’s pages. I’m really enjoying what I’ve read of A Tale of the Time Being so far. It’s quirky, engaging and clever, so it looks like the novel ingenuity of the cover is a true representation of what lies within. Brilliant!
*I am currently in a field. I will be plugged back into the blogosphere in a couple of weeks, see ya then!