Monday, March 15, 2010

Booking It--Illustrated

How do you feel about illustrations in your books? Graphs? Photos? Sketches?

Well, it depends. Illustrations in children's books are often the best part. And I'm not against illustrations in the fiction I read; however, they seem unnecessary--I already "see" the characters, the places, the events, in my head. My imagination is enough for me. In fact, sometimes an illustration is unsettling. I've read books before and then later run across an illustrated edition only to be quite disturbed because the illustrations didn't match the pictures in my mind.

As far as non-fiction goes, sometimes graphs, charts, and photos can help me conceptualize the author's ideas, but I've never bought a book on the basis of whether or not it's illustrated.


Ian said...

The other day, I read an interesting bit on book publication in the age of the iPad that touches on illustrations and charts in books. Though it's only marginally related to this post, I thought you might find it interesting: Books in the Age of the iPad.

Ash said...

I totally agree...sometimes I buy kid's books just for the illustrations (Last one was "Diary of a Wombat"), but in other more grown-up fiction they never do the story any favors and I find them always more of a distraction. Even having an illustration/graphics degree doesn't soften my stance on this. Maybe that's why I never pursued being a book illustrator...