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BTT – Illustrious

Thursday, 11 March 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

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

Up until now my reactions to illustrations in books have only been subconscious, never articulated. Which means rather than just plopping down at the computer and expressing long held and often discussed views, I’ve been sitting here cogitating on how to respond. Trying to think something through first thing in the morning can have disastrous results in my case, so bear with me.

If a work of fiction has illustrations of the characters, I find that they can hamper my ability to imagine the person in any way but as drawn. Plus it often seems to me that the person doing the drawing hasn’t actually read the description of the character which befuddles me even more! In general, in a work of fiction, I prefer small sketches at the chapter headings, such as a flower, small animal, or a tea set. (Or Hedwig in flight.) Something that ties in with the story but isn’t the actual characters.

Non-fiction without pictures is downright annoying and will send me straight to the computer to do an image search on Google. A text book without graphs or illustrations is harder for me to understand. One of the main downsides to listening to historical audiobooks can be missing out on the photos, graphs and illustrations.

Short rant then I’m done: why can’t libraries figure out how to put the sleeves on books and still make it so the patron can see the illustrations or graphs on the inside covers? A book I checked out recently had two branches of a family tree printed on the inside and back cover, and both were half obscured by the book sleeve. Ack!

Deep breath. Done ranting. What’s your response to today’s Booking Through Thursday question?

  1. Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 9:25 am

    I think that for adult fiction, I rather they didn’t have pics. Non-fiction needs them. Here’s mine.

  2. Thursday, 11 March 2010 at 9:30 am

    I like seeing the artists’ interpretation of the characters and action, even if it doesn’t agree with my own. I find I can just ignore it if it doesn’t match my imagination, and it seldom distracts me enough to worry about. Generally, I think I’d like most books to have illustrations, especially nonfiction – and I really hate to read biographies or memoirs that don’t include photos and other graphics. I love putting faces and places with the names and incidents.

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