Font Frenzy

I stumbled across this post by Betsy Lerner, the poet/agent/author who entertains daily on her fabulous blog. (Unlike SOME bloggers, who allow their blogs to languish and fade away without the slightest attention for weeks and weeks. *whistles innocently*) The comments are what caught my eye – all the ooh-ing and aah-ing over fonts.

Yep. Fonts.

Reading those impassioned mini-love letters decicated to fonts, I felt the same way I’ve often felt at home decorating parties, or when I inadvertently flip the TV to HGTV: bewildered and slightly ashamed.(Go ahead: imagine my ill-decorated house. Take your time.)

Should fonts be something I, as a writer, care about? Should I be agonizing not only over which words I use, but which fonts I use to show them to the world? When I first started reading those ubiquitous “What Not To Do in Your Query” blog posts years ago, they always said up front to use Times New Roman or Courier. My initial thought was, what’s Courier? And then, wait — there are thousands of fonts to choose from?

(Okay, I knew those fonts existed, I just didn’t know WHY. For third grade projects? For those Creative Memories people who, I must admit, scare me worse than the dentist?)

I’m a paper book kind of gal. I love the feel of a book, the cover, love to be able to crack the spine if I own it, read it in the bathtub — yes, every freaking night people, I am a bathtub reader — love to drip tiny bits of pasta sauce and chocolate fondue deep in the crevice, leaving a reminder that when I read that particular page, I was eating Belgian chocolate – you can still smell its higher-than-American milk solids there, on that page.

I love books.

And I’m sure, on some level, in that same way that I appreciate a gorgeously decorated home, or a particularly well-applied make-up job — while knowing that I do not have the skills to bring those things into my own lif without opening the checkbook and doodling in lots of zeroes — I love the deckled page, the quirky font, the gilt edge, as much as the next redneck in the trailer park. Maybe even a little more.

Of course, if the words on the page aren’t as beautiful, say, as Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere (Oh, Friends – rush out and buy it. So. Amazing.), then the most perfect font in the world can’t convince me to keep turning those pages.


News: I’m off to a San Antonio SCBWI Editor’s Day this weekend, where I’m sure to meet lots of YOU, my Writer Friends. Hooray for real-life meet-ups!

I went to an amazing talk last weekend given by Andy Sherrod about “boy books” that opened my eyes to some startling mistakes I made when I was writing my own boy book. (Now I won’t have to make those mistakes again, joy joy. 😉

Other news? I’m about to start a New Novel. Writing one, that is. I’ve been reading a lot – but now it’s time to add to the canon. *snort*

Posted in Miscellaneous on 09/16/2010 12:36 pm


  1. I read your blog for the writing, for lines like, “I love the deckled page, the quirky font, the gilt edge, as much as the next redneck in the trailer park.” And for so many others. No thoughts to add except to agree on the brilliance of The Sky is Everywhere. And, a New Novel? Sheesh, you’re fast. Headed to my writing cave in 3, 2, 1 . . .


    • Nikki Loftin

      Aw, Lori. And I *write* my blog for readers like you. I’ve got my timeline for this draft worked out. End of October, baby. Better hurry up and write. Faster!


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