With this summer’s release of Art of McSweeney’s, Dave Eggers and co. may have provided the most compelling reason yet to hold off on buying a Kindle. Though Art of McSweeney’s is technically an anniversary tribute to the unfailingly original visuals in the pages and on the covers of all publications under the McSweeney’s umbrella — The Believer magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, all four imprints of McSweeney’s Books — the über-illustrated tome is a typically large McSweeney’s undertaking, a tribute to the very existence and possibilities of print media.
“We spend a good deal of time editing books, and producing books of the highest quality we’re capable of, in the hopes that in doing so, we’ll keep people mindful of the pleasures of the book-as-object,” explains Eggers in the book’s early pages, alongside his dedication to “these physical books that purportedly have no future”.
True to their mission, the McSweeney’s team has created an object that can only be properly experienced in hard copy. From diagrams to illustrations to behind-the-scenes photos (Joyce Carroll Oates playing Sega stands out as a highlight) Art of McSweeney’s reads like a 264-page love letter to all things printed and bound, complete with a muse board of old school book covers that would make Kanye West proud.