We started doing book covers shortly after we started Optipop. We find a great affinity for the process. It is fun and rewarding to work with publishers to make design part of the product. Given time, we read the book before designing.
Books have a great totem-like appeal. We (admit it!) buy them for the cover art, use them as props and conversation starters, and carry them around as both shield and invitation, all the while they sit around patiently waiting to be read. Our intention is to design covers which get the books read sooner.
It will be quite interesting to see what becomes of books as the various ebook formats develop. We have often thought that paper lacked the necessary depth to explain the complexity of ideas that humans have. While we as designers seek better ways to clarify, to illustrate, or even simply to decorate (all things which can be amplified by the ebook formats), we will miss paper. We will miss having bookshelves filled with evidence of our intellect. Maybe in the future we will just post a list of the books we have read on our wall, *sigh*.
(Note even as I write that previous sentence I realize that can be done on Facebook.)