Aside1... I'd love to know what percentage of the population reads art books in this "image first" way. Also, what percentage reads art books cover to cover, and how many (like my wife) who avoid them altogether.
Aside2... Military history and economics (among other subjects) tend to be written and read linearly, but necessarily have many maps, graphs and tables that make reading them more jagged and "skip-a roundish". Complex subjects in general make one stop, reread and absorb (and are perhaps a different category again).
Oh, and Leyendecker? An amazing artist with the ability to be highly stylized (see book cover) or rough and ready (above); but always a first class recorder of reality. I was put off at first by his relentless fashionable look, but was won over by his obvious talents (note the range in the following pieces). It was also impressive that at a time when photography was easily used to complete paintings, he was said to work exclusively from models.
This curious relationship between artists and art books has comforted me in writing my own book. I am writing it in the same way that I would read it; pictures first. (actually this was the way I wrote my masters thesis - diagrams and graphs first, then text)
Enough!!! Back to the book.