Our own indispensable @SaheliDatta points to Slate’s takedown of the proliferating book-trailer genre. The column is skeptical of book trailers, but I tend to find them charming. I remember loving the idea when I first ran across it, and now we’ve got several exemplars of the form, like the Little Prince Pop-Up Book trailer:
I like the way book trailers attempt to light up your expectation for a printed page by teasing you with an entirely different sort of temptation. A good book trailer is like good food photography. I don’t think of the primary seduction of a meal as being visual, but a well-done food photo evokes everything non-visual about a meal — taste, scent, texture. Similarly, I don’t typically think of the primary seduction of a book as being its atmosphere or aesthetic, but this is what a good book trailer (or animated book cover) evokes — the environment the book will create around you as you read it.
Obligatory Miranda July link. Obligatory Miranda July book trailer: