Friday, February 26, 2010

The Advent of the Book Dickie

Peter Robins wrote a piece on The Guardian's Book Blog questioning the need for dustjackets on books.  "What is the point of dustjackets?" he asks.  "The jacket remains an unnecessary and vulnerable encumbrance. That, at least, is how it has always seemed to me – and some in the book trade appear to be reaching the same conclusion."

Couldn't agree more, Peter.  In fact, I predicted this development ages ago (well, six weeks ago anyway).  It's the sixth of my 10 Predictions Plus 2 about the future of publishing:  "As a cost-cutting measure, publishers will reconsider the efficacy of the traditional wraparound book jacket."  But Peter, not sharing my astonishing prescience, you failed to grasp the true significance of this phenomenon, which is just a precursor to a greater, paradigm-altering development:  "An innovative designer will create a radically streamlined and much cheaper alternative: the book dickie."

The advent of the book dickie will lead directly to the fulfillment of my seventh prediction:  "Authors will inevitably complain to their editors that they don't like their dickie art."

How long before the rest of my predictions fall like so many dominoes into the realm of incontrovertible historical fact?  Let's hope it's a while before my final prediction is realized--it's a doozy.  Hoo boy.


  1. Larry, don't you think only upper class books would wear a dickey? Bill in Riyadh

  2. Hooray for Captain Spaulding!

  3. In England, will they use spotted dickeys?