Bestselling author Dave Eggers once observed:

“Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this,”

This is an experience that readers who exclusively consume books on their tablets, e-readers and mobile devices at least partly miss out on. To fully enjoy a book, after all, is not just to chew on the protein of its content but also to admire its presentation on the plate—its size and shape, the thickness of the paper as you turn a page, the faint smell of ink, the texture of the cover and weight of it in your hands.

 50 Books | 50 Covers is a publishing project by Design Observer which seeks to champion these “hand-held devices”. 

Aside from reaffirming the cultural significance of the format, the initiative also seeks to underline the design intelligence required to produce a book. Graphic designers act as translators, Helfand explains. The task of a designer is to synthesize information from authors, editors, publishers, critics, investors, and researchers, she explains. “It sounds like fun, but it’s a tremendous amount of work.”