Monday, May 3, 2010

What Makes a Perfect Book

The Bridge is the perfect model

Not to beat a cliché, but you know it when you see it: perfection. A just-poured pint of Guinness. A perfectly-flat-brimmed red baseball cap on a Black kid’s head. Long Converse sneakers at the bottom of a long pair of faded Levis. The book about Obama by David Remnick is like that. The photo on the front is by Martin Schoeller, who did the Andre Agassi book cover, and who’s done all sorts of famous portraits. That draws you, like a hot magazine cover does. That photo with the typeface and the way it’s put together by Chip Kidd makes you pick it up. And when you do, its heft and feel make you want to own it, read it. You open it and the weight of the paper and the binding leave the book lying flat like the big book at church, like the big dictionary at the library. It’s by Knopf. Nothing finer.

Caption: It looks at you from the window; you look back.

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