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There are a lot of reasons to troll used-book stores, but whether you find the title you’re after or not, there’s always a few interesting covers.

This gallery of old Pelican covers should be a reminder: they don’t design them like they used to. (Although Chip Kidd might have something to say about that.) And judging a book by its cover isn’t as bad as it’s cracked up to be.

In the worst case, it sits prettily on your end table while you turn to more interesting pursuits. After all, it’s an object too.

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—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom