It’s Thursday! It’s Thursday! (Can you tell I am excited?) It has been another long, dragging week for me, and considering that I get to see my favorite band in the whole wide world on Saturday, the fact that we are almost at the weekend is enough to make me giddy with glee! Deb must have known I could not handle an in-depth question this week. Rather, she made it a short and sweet one, so that I can spend more time dreaming about leaving the kids for the night and attending the concert.
How do you feel about illustrations in your books? Graphs? Photos? Sketches?
It is actually quite funny that this is the question of the week. I just finished reading a lovely version of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, in which the original illustrations were reproduced. While some might find this charming, I found it a bit of a distraction. Yes, I made sure to look at these sketches, but often, I had such a clear vision in my mind that I was loathe to ruin it by looking at the sketches in great detail.
However, there have been occasions where I would have loved to have seen photos, sketches or illustrations in a book. The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons are two that come to mind immediately because of the detailed descriptions of art that would have truly helped me follow along with the plot. They are not necessary for the enjoyment of the story, but they would have been a nice addition to the book. Another book that comes to mind is The Swan Thieves. Again, there is a lot of focus on art – famous and not-so-famous works – and being able to see them recreated in the book (rather than have to put the book down to Google them) would help the reader stay engaged.
In essence, I am not adverse to the idea of illustrations in a book. Depending on the book, the subject matter, and the plot, I might ignore them. In fact, there is a reason I am not totally enthused about graphic novels. However, every once in a while, I find myself reading a novel in which I really wish the author/publisher had taken the time to add illustrations of some sort. Again, it depends on the subject matter, the plot and the writing of the author.
I know that graphic novels are all the rage now. If you like graphic novels, do you also like illustrations in your more traditional novels? Am I alone in my hesitant stance on illustrations?
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You know, that is a very good question, although I am inclined to say that as long as we have a book, no matter if it has illustrations or not, we are happy.
Barbara – I would not have thought this to be such a hot topic. Apparently, I was wrong! LOL!
I have seen that version of The Da Vinci Code. It is gorgeous. Someone brought it into work, and I poured over the pages. It would have definitely enhanced reading that particular novel to have all those photos of the actual artifacts.
Yep! Time went fast, didn't it? I can't wait!
Lori – That's definitely one way of looking at it.
Michael – I totally agree. The front cover can make or break a book just as much as the illustrations on the interior. I also agree that for certain non-fiction books, illustrations are almost a must.
I hope you enjoy graphic novels more than I did. They are all the rage, but I find them too distracting! I just want the words to tell the story, not have to stop to look at the pictures. LOL!
I've read lots of good thoughts on this question, today.
Here's my answer
My recent post Do You Like Illustrated Books? Booking Through Thursday
I think that for adult fictionI rather they didn't have pics. Here's mine.
My recent post Booking Through Thursday (#6) – Illustrious