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cover to cover

November 26, 2006

I suppose that if people didn’t like year end lists, there wouldn’t be so many of them. The sad thing is that there’s so many of them, and so often they just aren’t compelling enough to read all the way through.

So. How to make a worthwhile list stand out? Well, if you’re the NY Times, you might consider doing something other than reducing your 100 Notable Books of the Year to little more than a bunch of links with limited explanatory text.

This is mildly frustrating for someone like me, simply because of how attached I am to books as physical objects. I like their weight and heft, the way they fit in my hand, and (most importantly) what the covers look like. So why not make that year-end list more visual? Say, maybe, browsable by cover art?

Coverbrowsing the NY Times Notable Books - Fiction (A to G)
Coverbrowsing the NY Times Notable Books - Fiction (H to Z)

I most likely could have put this together programatically (I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody already did) but the old fashioned way was actually quicker than I thought it would be. It’s only the 50 fiction selections so far – I figured I’d gauge response before doing more. Putting it up on Flickr seemed like the easiest way to publish it widely and get it linked to the individual reviews. I posted it broken out as (A to G) and (H to Z) images for easier legibility, but there’s also the biggy size to peruse.

I find this a lot more satisfying that simply parsing through a list of linked titles, and there’s even a chance I’ll recognize a cover the next time I’m browsing at the book store.

Categories: entertainment, infodesign
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  1. August 24, 2007 at 10:54 am
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