doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

More to do with books

You never know where your next bit of inspiration might come from…

I remember getting one of those booklets “Things that happened the year you were born” from my parents one year for my birthday.  They’re a popular product in many book stores or souvenir stands.  Flipping through it reminded me of how old I really was and how far we’ve come.

I expected to see the same thing when I read this article.  

The Most Popular Book the Year You Were Born

Visit the link and then open the gallery to click your way through books from 1930 to present.

So, of course, I went to my year of birth and checked it out.  I don’t recall reading the book but do remember watching the movie on late night television.

I’m sure that, if you do nothing else, you’ll at least do that.

Then, I started to think of other ways to use this resource.

  • take a look at the book cover design and see how they’ve changed over the years – other than the title and the author, how did the publisher make reading the book more attractive?  When did computer generated artwork become the norm?
  • take a look at the book cover and see the use of fonts – how have these changed over the years? – can your choice of font or what you do with the font (capitalization, effects, size, colour, ….) make a difference?
  • suppose you owned a book store – what would make one book more appealing to customers than others?  What display could you create around it to make it stand out among the hundreds of other books in your store?
  • if you’re an English department, how could you promote why a particular book was chosen in class?
  • if you’re a librarian, how complete is your collection – could you use this to direct your patrons to the titles via display?
  • are the Harry Potter books really that old or is it just me?
  • how many of these books have been made into movies?  How many have you seen?  (You might have to turn to TCM for some of them)
  • pick a book – who was the intended audience?
  • can you judge a book by its cover?
  • could you redesign the cover and do a better job with the tools and knowledge that you have today?

And, just from curiosity, how many of these books have your read?  How many were for school and how many for just some recreational reading?  

I’ll bet that none of these books used this – Plot Generator.


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

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