When I’m reading a book with an illustrated cover, something with a drawing or photograph, mid-paragraph, mid-book, I’ll consult it for some insight, to make sure I’m imagining what I should, what the author intended. Often, I’ll check the back flap and stare at the author photo, looking for more, an answer. Did that really happen? Was it to you? Is that your story? Yeah, fiction? Please. Then I use the corners of the pages to clean beneath my nails. When I’m done, I go back to picking my scalp, then smear the warm clump on a page. I do not lend out my books for this reason, among others. I never know when I’ll need to consult one.
above: flowers I placed on my home scanner.
I’m looking for something more than what I see in the writing, in a photo or jacket cover. Yet I know the author rarely has much say about her cover art. Marketing. Focus groups. Feedback. They get in the way sometimes. After working in advertising for nine years, I know a little something about it. All those years with a scanner at my desk, and I never once thought to scan everyday objects. Home offices are a good thing.