“I want it to exist as an object. The turning of physical pages is important to me. I want to feel the weight of a book. The paper in your hands is an intrinsic part of understanding the story.”
In one of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a bookseller, Brian invited the book department staff of Warwick’s to his home in La Jolla last March so we could see what he was working on. He had the hand drawn artwork panels of Wonderstruck, his followup to the Caldecott Award-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret, laid out all over the walls of his workroom & let us get all up on them. For those who’ve never seen Brian’s work, these are illustrated novels that he draws with a pencil in such tiny detail that he works on a drafting table with a gigantic magnifying glass. Yeah, yeah, they’re kids books, whatever. Hugo Cabret is pretty freakin’ spectacular and I guarantee, from what I was lucky enough to see last year, the new book is going to blow your face off.
Anyway, the point here is, I LOVE that Brian – a hugely successful, award-winning author who had his other book made into an upcoming goddamn Martin Scorsese movie – recognizes how important the physical, paper-filled rectangle known as a book is to some of us. There’s just something about The Book that I can’t replace – that I don’t want to replace, no matter how amazing the new technology for the delivery of stories gets.
PS: if you live in San Diego, or thereabouts, Warwick’s will be hosting a pretty kick-ass event with Brian at the SD Museum of Natural History over in Balboa Park on October 28th. Check out warwicks.com for more info. (You just might meet the operator of the Book Catapult while you’re there.)