|December 9, 2011 | Found Images, Philosophy

This cover stopped me in my tracks. I looked the title up, and it’s a crazy spin on the conventional plague/ horror story, and maybe I’ll read it when it comes out. I always feel like the really cool designers are working on book covers, not album covers, which makes sense because ( some ) people are still buying books, so there’s still some work-for-pay designing them. I believe that the little corner-niche bookshop will be with us for a while, but I don’t think the big box bookstores will be around very long — and that’s too bad, because I like walking around in those places and gazing, unfocused, until some title or other catches my eye. I miss the mega-CD stores, the Virgins and the Towers, where I used to do the same thing. Those days are long-gone, as is the time when you’d know who designed the cover of the record you were listening to : Barney Bubbles, with his fantastic pun-within-a-pun die-cut LP sleeves, or Hipgnosis, who did all the Pink Floyd covers ( and imagine Peter ” Sleazy ” Christopherson, working on the cover of Animals by day, and by night, playing in .. Throbbing Gristle ) or 4AD’s 23 Envelope.

Out on the interstate, when I see a Barnes & Noble ( Borders is closed, and in the south we have a place called Books-A-Million, but that one’s a Christian outfit, so, kind of creepy to me. I will drink their shitty coffee, though ), I always stop. I can’t really help it. It gets bland out there, where the malls and corn fields are, and, spotting a B&N, I’m like, ” Oooh, culture! “. Invariably, in these stores, which not only encourage you to browse, but to loaf in big chairs and read books and magazines for free, I come across those who I think of as my people : a couple of ratty skate-kids looking at books about guitars, an old guy in a beret in the coin-collecting section, an unconventionally beautiful girl who has no idea of the kind of stir she’s going to cause when she moves to the city, out of here, at last. When these places shut down, where will the people go?