[A] book design should be inevitable — a book demands its own shape just as an oak sprouts from an acorn and a pine from a cone. A book is a body in which a story lives and breathes, and, like a body, it has a spine, is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, and it isn’t going to go on many dates unless it can hold up its end of the conversation. If it does find its way into our life, a book can also be a companion, and sometimes a life-changing one.

Chris Ware on the art of book covers [via] cf: John Updike, who claimed he could not begin writing a book until he first imagined its spine, “You can, possibly, tell a book by its cover, but the cover isn’t the contents.”