The Reading Interest and Typographically books?

Gunarta's picture

In the case of the world of Books and Library. Based on your opinion or certain source, Are there relationship between The Reading Interests of the people/community with the Typographically books that collected by library?

I defined Typographically books as the book with the knowledge of Typography and respectful of typography tenets.

Cheers,
Gunarta

quadibloc's picture

Now that's an unusual question.

This question involves too many links in the chain, though, to be considered a single issue from start to finish.

When it comes to libraries, one thing to remember is that they tend to be funded by local sources of tax revenue. Hence, they will not be likely to purchase books that are needlessly expensive.

Thus, they're not likely to purchase luxurious private press editions of works that are already available in more utilitarian editions.

This additional constraint would need to be kept in mind to answer your original question as posed.

Because the question that can be answered, or at least examined directly, in a more reasonable fashion is: which kinds of books (as defined in terms of subject area) are more likely to be produced with an eye to quality typography?

Several categories come to mind.

Editions of classic works of poetry (such as Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a special case, as there have been several mass-market editions of this work designed to resemble private-press editions in elaborateness), short fiction, or even some essays - the kind of material found in private press editions.

Books about typography, advertising layout, art, and related subjects.

Some types of children's books, I think, although someone here has questioned that.

Gunarta's picture

Thank you Quadibloc.
I'm sure that you are telling in your perspective, that's good. That's i need

Actually, i wanted to observe would Typography quality in books attract people to come along to the library. In case of my country, Indonesia, with typographically bad-quality books, people don't really like reading (so, they're hard to be educated), and the people in the low of finance (so, they couldn't buy books neither). I concern to elevate the people's reading interest with typography art in every books. So, they would be helped to be attracted to read those books.

And probably the categories that people need most here are literature books, science book, and everything else that could educate & civilize people.

quadibloc's picture

This is a different question indeed.

It is true that in the wealthy nations, the market demands books that meet a certain standard of typographic quality. Even if it costs a bit more to make a book this way, it will be printed on white paper, such things as margins and leading will be reasonably generous, and so on.

Of course, we're still not all that rich, so pocket books and paperbacks and second-hand books are still very popular.

But even pocket books, printed on newsprint, still are more easily readable than many of the books from the later nineteenth century, when there was a great deal of competition to make books as cheaply as possible, and so typefaces were narrow and ugly, and printing was usually in smaller point sizes.

So I would analyze this situation as follows:

Artistic typography will make an individual book eye-catching, and so people who have come to the library might pick up that book and look at it first.

But just getting the basics right - making sure the book is easy and comfortable to read without eyestrain - combined with ensuring that what is in the book is what they are interested in reading will count for more.

Even here in our educated and civilized society, the most popular books in the public libraries are in the fiction section. Despite the books in Indonesia not having good typographic quality, I suppose you still have, and thus don't "need" more, romance novels, detective stories, and things like that.

Education that people can apply in their own lives - things like cookbooks, books on household repairs, on sewing - won't be ignored.

And there will be people who will want to widen their horizons if it's made easy and interesting - books written for the lay person about science, for example, are popular. And your country's traditional literature wouldn't have survived if it wasn't entertaining to the ordinary people.

But don't set your sights too high. Pretty typography will not bring them to a library that chooses its books on the basis of "Read this, it's good for you". Educating and civilizing people only works if you remember that to work it must be a slow and gentle process.

Gunarta's picture

Whoa.. Thank you.. Thank you...
It's awesome. It opened my eyes. I ask you permission to quote you. May I?

quadibloc's picture

Yes, you certainly may.

JamesM's picture

I used to work at a public library (although my job didn't include ordering the books). The librarians didn't personally inspect most of the books prior to ordering them. They ordered them based on factors such as which books were on the bestseller lists, which books had received the best reviews, which books were needed to fill holes in the library's collection, etc.

I'm sure most librarians love an attractively-designed book, but they generally wouldn't know anything about the typographic qualities of the books prior to ordering them unless it was something that was mentioned, good or bad, in the reviews.

In recent years libraries have seen more and more of their budgets being used to purchase things other than traditional books -- computers, electronic books, audio books, videos, music CDs, etc. In the future we'll probably much less shelf space devoted to traditional books as more and more of their customers (especially younger ones) will want ebooks instead.

.00's picture

Another powerful tool that librarians use to decide what to order is this website: http://www.earlyword.com/

Gunarta's picture

Thank you very much people. It was completing my essay :D

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