Kindles, Nooks, and iPads have changed the way we consume information and books are a large part of that consumption. We can easily read a paperback on our tablets and even (God forbid) our cell phone, and there is even a debate on whether there is a place for physical books in today’s world.
Putting aside the fact that while it is acceptable to curl up with a good book and a little unseemly to do so with a tablet, there are still times when the written word is just plain superior to electronic fonts.
After all, it’s almost impossible to get your iPad signed by the author and taking a tablet camping is still a rough proposition. But more than that, some stories just lend themselves to the printed page.
Below are five examples of creative print books that just plain knock your socks off and belong to that form so much that they would suffer in the electronic form.
Be sure to pick up any of them at your local bookstore (the subject of some later article), grab a coffee or glass of wine, and enjoy the ride as you flip through the pages.
Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss
While a lot of people might ask why a writing guide would be made up equally of illustrations and information, Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss pose the provocative question; why not?
Beautifully illustrated and inspiring, Wonderbook knits together maps and sketches, drawings and illustrations with examples of crafting fiction and strengthening your prose. Helping VanderMeer make his case for fantasy writing are essays and advice from the biggest names in the genre, such as Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin.
Whether you’re interested in taking your prose to the next level or simply looking to escape to another world for a while, you can’t do much better than Wonderbook.
S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst
Having made his bones as a creator of television shows such as Lost and Fringe, the world of darkness and secrets are the things of holiday vacation homes for J. J. Abrams. Working with writer Doug Dorst, the writer of Alive in Necropolis, he also has a guide to those same darkness and secrets.
S. is two stories in one, and each of them are riveting. In the first a woman finds a book left by a stranger and is captivated by the text and the margin notes left by the mysterious stranger. As she leaves notes of her own to communicate with the owner of the book, the reader is drawn into their tale.
The other story is that of the book itself, a tale written by a lost writer, chronicling his journey into his own work and the rumors that surround it.
S. is a lovingly crafted and luxuriously written journey. The story is framed with scraps of paper, charts, scribbles in the margin, and ephemera that captivate the reader and propel them forward into the story. Take your time and enjoy the path that S. takes you through. You’ll be richly rewarded.
Alfred Hitchcock: The Master of Suspense: A Pop-Up Book by Kees Moerbeek
The history of a master of suspense like Alfred Hitchcock is a bold and extraordinary tale, one that would be hard to fit into two dimensions. Author Kees Moerbeek doesn’t even try and it is a treat to see.
While the whole is no longer than sixteen pages, each page gives a frenzied, feverish look at the master director’s work and captures the mood and feel of each movie. In typical pop-up style, there are little pull-tabs and intricate levers that reward the reader along the way as well as fun facts regarding the filming of each masterpiece.
A treat for any Hitchcock fan, Alfred Hitchcock: The Master of Suspense is pure and unadulterated fun!
The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Approach to Creativity by Nick Bantock
Nick Bantock is a master of beautiful books. As the author of Griffin & Sabine and The Museum at Purgatory, he has been making captivating art between the covers of books for over twenty years, and his latest offering, The Trickster’s Hat, is no exception.
A brilliant, funny, and at times messy mind, Bantock takes his reader on a journey of self-exploration as well as creativity. He invites the reader to take chances, make mistakes, and learn what works for them in their quest to make better, and more personal art.
Filled with sketches, postcards, other-worldly stamps, and collages beautifully crafted from both dreams and nightmares, The Trickster’s Hat inspires creation while at the same time inspires admiration.
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth
E.B. Hudspeth is an artist and a sculptor who has been writing for more than ten years, Like others on this list, Hudspeth has created an exceptional work of art in The Resurrectionist that melds two tales together into a seamless tapestry of art and story.
The first story is of Spencer Black, a young doctor and the son of a grave robber. While he is brought up with a background of science, he is obsessed with the idea that man may have evolved from the mythical creatures of imagination, such as merfolk, minotaurs, and satyrs.
The second story is Black’s work, The Codex Extinct Animalia. The Codex is a study of Black’s work in the field of cryptozoological study, with sketches of anatomical structure on par with Gray’s Anatomy.
The Resurrectionist is an engrossing and dark read that not only captivates the mind but also the imagination and isn’t just a great first book, but a great book period.
Want more creativity in YOUR life? Need to find or fan YOUR creative spark?
Sign up below for my “Creativity Booster Pack” for 10 great articles on how to boost your creativity!