It’s been a long while since I participated in Booking Through Thursday, so here we go!

How do you feel about illustrations in your books? Graphs? Photos? Sketches?

As long as they relate to the text and illuminate it in some way, then I am fine with illustrations. I really enjoy when they add to the reading, such as the illustrated Book of Negroes; you read about a plant you don’t know of in the story, and there is a lovely illustration of it. Where I didn’t enjoy sidebar images and asides was Generation X; some of the stuff were just little doodles, cartoons, random witty headings. The problem was they only made sense if you read the text, read the sidebar notes, then reread the text to see how it applied.

I love illustrated non-fiction. My favourite flipping/read-randomly book is The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare. There are so many themes and play-on-words within Shakespeares’ plays as well as period-references that lend very well to an illustrated companion.

I don’t like illustrations when they dictate what the characters look like or exactly what a scene looks like. I think that the writing should be able to do this and stand alone. However, I recall my Literature 12 textbook having a number of illustrations, particularly for The Canterbury Tales. In this sense, I felt that illustrations of people were very poignant because the text itself is ironically flattering.

On the other hand, I also have to say that I would never buy a cookbook or knitting/craft book that didn’t have photos. And, in the case of illustrated young adult books, I think that it is fantastic to be able to visually balance the text, especially for reluctant readers.