Critical Linking

Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers: Critical Linking, February 8, 2019

Sponsored by Libby, the one-tap reading app from your library and OverDrive.

If books have design eras, we’re in an age of statement wallpaper and fatty text. We have the internet to thank — and not just the interface but the economy that’s evolved around it. From the leather-bound volumes of old to lurid mass-market paperbacks, book covers were never designed in a vacuum. Their presentation had everything to do with the way books were made, where and how and to whom they were sold. And when you look at book covers right now, what you’ll see blaring back at you, bold and dazzling, is a highly competitive marketing landscape dominated by online retail, social media, and their curiously symbiotic rival, the resurgent independent bookstore.

A nerdy dive into a book cover design trend that takes advantage of social media and mobile users. 


Did you know that every night, when you snuggle up with your preschooler and they select that favorite book (you know the one I’m talking about…you’ve read it 300 times), you’re actually preparing them for academic success and test taking?

You might either be intrigued or infuriated, but hear me out. Something really magical is going on that is vital to their future school success.

A reminder for when you’re tired of reading your kiddo that book for the seventy millionth time


With a student body made up of largely poor and immigrant children, large-scale parent and community fund-raising “is not something that’s possible here,” he said. “And even if it was, I wouldn’t want it. Funding things the district should, that just digs a deeper hole not just for yourself, but for everybody.”

Cromwell, the Kenderton parent, said a library is “a wish to a school like ours,” and that she doesn’t begrudge the better-off schools their bells and whistles, but that it stings.

“I signed my kids up for the same things those parents signed their kids up for: a free public education,” Cromwell said. “It’s sad how different it is for kids in different neighborhoods.”

A really important read about school libraries and the communities that need them

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