The exhibition of the best 75 book covers from the past decade on display in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The saying that books are our best friends is about as ancient as the books themselves. It seems that even the Romans already knew the beneficiary effect that reading books will have on generations yet to come.
Rare are the joys that can compare to holding a yet unopened book, smelling the paper, admiring the words, gently cracking the spine (unless you, like yours truly, think it's a sin to do that) and getting ready for a cosy couple of hours that will take you to a world beyond reality. But so far, nothing has yet been told about the actual content of the book and for the purpose of this article, nothing will be: the initial pleasure in getting to know a book comes from the way the book is presented to the potential reader. This is also the idea behind the »Penguin 75« exhibition that opened on November 23 in the Vžigalica Gallery in Ljubljana. The exhibition was produced by the and and was prepared to commemorate both the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books publishing house and the year 2010 when Ljubljana holds the title.
But there’s so much more to discover, so if you would like to know why the horse on the cover of “Marquis de Sade” got castrated, where the designer of the “Londonstani” cover got his inspiration from or how to know whether the designer actually likes the author whose book cover he was designing, you are going to have to visit the exhibition yourself – you’ve got until December 15. After visiting the exhibition, I wandered the streets of the pre-holiday Ljubljana for a while and found myself in a bookshop. I left it with the Penguin Group edition of Jane Austen’s “Emma”. It was the first one I plucked out of the pile of many different editions of the same book and even though I carefully examined the others as well, none of them attracted my attention quite as much as this one. And seems to be the theory behind all of what’s said above put to practice.