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I probably pay too much attention to book covers. When I read the back cover, it’s usually to check out the photo credit rather than read more about the book. Having been a literature major, I’ve pretty much kept this little inclination under wraps. Until now.

Covering Photography is an archive I ran into this week that connects book covers and photography. When I saw this in the bookstore a couple of years ago, I could remember Richard Misrach as the author of the cover image of this book but not Norman Mailer as the author himself.

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There’s a calm melancholy about Robert Adams’ images, but being put on the cover of a book on small-town crime imbues it with a sense of unease. It’s not just the image creating a tone for the book, but the image itself changes, becomes darker.

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And using Robert Frank for this edition of Kerouac’s On the Road is perfect, given that Kerouac wrote the introduction to Frank’s The Americans.

The bookstore is a gallery.