I'm on a bit of a reading spree at the moment, and what I'm reading is perty books - among other things, I've just had a new batch of books from the Canongate Myths Series. There's a lot to be said about that line, both good and bad of course, but for the msot part, I'm overwhelmed. And the books looks so lovely.
But what's with the nice looking literature? Beautiful books, books that are like soft dark chocolates covered in red and gold wrapping. It is, I find, a joy to open a book that is printed on thick, cream coloured paper, where the margins are substantial, so as to make the lines just so long as is comfortable for the eye. Not the entire page is used up, as is often the case with grey-colour-paper pocket books, where the lines are too tight, the font too bold and the margins too narrow. No, I like well-bound books with beautiful cover-art, books that reach out for me and make me want to pick them up.
But of course, it matters little that the book looks lovely, if the content is bland or uninteresting.
I've recently read not only one, but two books that fill both the form and the content criteria, namely The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson and Girl meets boy by Ali smith. They both deal with issues like queer, norms and expectations, feminist and humanist questions as well as environmental problems and what we are doing to our world and to ourselves. Both JW and AS have a lovely, light and direct prose, they are approachable as writers, accessible as texts, and they both are very, very worth while.
And the books are very, very perty.