1984 is a book that won’t go away.
Google ‘1984 book cover’ and you get a decent mosaic of inspired design. From the hand-scripted text of the 1st edition in 1949 to the recent re-legitimizing Shepard Fairey treatment. There are tons of books about dystopian futures, why will 1984 outlive all of them? The simple answer: It looks great on a shelf. From a design perspective, the text 1 9 8 4 is a playground of simple shapes to move, distort and color. From a reader’s perspective, the phrase “nineteen eighty four” is a perpetually morphing concept. What it meant in 1963 is not the same thing it meant in 1993. Whether it's a prophecy of hyper collectivism or a historical document of tech paranoia; the title is always relevant and always intriguing. Simply owning the book gives a sense of an elevated social standing. Not a bad deal, especially if you get a used copy.
A great story is a great story and will live on through it’s inspiration. Hidden in the works of new authors and other creative types. But a book needs to be more than a great story. In an age of information, it needs to be a commodity.