books are beautiful
Since J G Ballard got respectable, his book-jackets have become tasteful and tidy, but once upon a time his covers were among the most lurid and lusciously pulpy of the paperbacks. This gallery contains some of my favourites, books to bring grace and glory to any coat pocket or busstop pose.
I buy J G Ballard books from second-hand shops and sales, and many of my copies are dilapidated or bear the marks of former owners. I like that in them; they seem more approachable, more eager to please, and the pages have a pliant softness only acheived through the constant touch of fingers. I still buy the odd copy new, when the urge siezes me, and I discover yet another I've not read yet, but it's not the same; the paper has a chunky roughness, like the paper towels in public toilets, and the covers are a blurry mass of tastefully distorted photos. From what I see on Amazon the American editions still retain some of glory of the old classic covers, but I've not had much luck getting hold of them. I recently spent three months waiting for a beautiful Vermillion Sands with an enormous jewelled crab on the cover, but in the end it was unobtainable.
These are quite large, but shouldn't be indigestible. More will follow.
Cover · Calypso · Ballardia · Escape ·