presentation > web: lostbooks
for a long time i've been wanting to see a web site offering a general overview of the western canon with ad hoc comments on each book and a selected list of web resources for non-academics. the web is replete with sites overlapping information about this or that historical or literary movement (some really useful and informative) but none, so far, has come to my attention with a more general approach without sacrificing to quality, aesthetic values, and usability.
in search of lost books intends to fill that gap.
- content (goals) -
relevance - the texts included in these pages are not necessarily my personal favorites, but they are nonetheless relevant to a deeper and wider understanding of western literature. hence each title has been supplemented with a mini-review, i.e., an explanation for the reasons of its inclusion in the selection. furthermore, texts have been organized in chronological order, dividing them into historical periods.
access - where available, each text has a direct link to its amazon page. moreover, appended at the end of each mini-review, there is a short list of links to online html texts.
background - literary periods and movements are collected in special sections with reference to other online sources, discussions, and historical background.
circularity: - each page of this web site has been designed so that the user/reader can access any other page or sections from where s/he can always return to the starting page. thus the viewer/reader would be able to grasp the interconnectivity of literature throughout the ages.
the red arrows indicate the various features connaturated in the structure of the site:
direct links to sources, books, relevant pages, as well as to other sections of the site.
solutions - in trying to keep with circularity and interconnectivity, in spite of direct links to amazon [ top left corner, individual book links ] and to electronic texts, the navigation bar at the bottom of the page and the links in the right column are intended to enable the visitor through a tour of related pages within the site.
faults - pages overly long and possibly weighty while downloading, due in part to abundant use of images for the purpose of more attractive linking. still trying to figure out a system of shortcuts through a table-of-contents type page, but quite unhappy with results.
– marketing –
a logo - so as to promote the activities and contents of lost books, i have designed a logo which should identify the site. the "puss in the boots" (or "puss with the boots") image seemed to suit all needs: universal recognition, love for cats in book lovers, familiarity of association (cats among books), appeal to childhood memories, as well as the useful play on words "puss in books". furthermore, the drawing (elaboration based on a famous maxfield parrish painting) allowed for extensive use with banners and announcements designed for advertising purposes as well as a dominant theme in presentations.
the meditating figure holding a piper in one hand could be another viable candidate for site identification, although not suitable for logo purposes.
banners, ads, etc. - banners have been thought out as a series of quotes relating to the book theme, either from books or movies or other media. the content of the quotes had to be somewhat ironic (like the groucho marx one), or thought-provoking (like the g. b. shaw one). likewise promotional ads should communicate the diversified activities related to littere.com (writing, books, reviews, etc.) using alternately the different symbols for the different sites. lastly, the same have been applied to a standard business card line (bottom picture).