Hello friends! It’s Tuesday, so you know what’s on the literary plate! This week’s topic is really interesting. Recently I talked about book covers, and how I judge the contents by its shiny, colorful wrapper, I mean – who doesn’t like shiny stuff? If you don’t – you’re a monster! Kidding, to each his own, but for me only the best. What I mean is, if I read a book and really love it, BUT the cover is ugly, I’ll actually wait around a year or ten before I see an edition I visually like. It’s not always the case, sometimes I need the book asap, but I am patient and I’d rather wait and have something I truly and wholly treasure on my shelf. So, let’s see which of my favorites got a prettier cover for their reprint and which were ruined for no reason whatsoever. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and every Tuesday there is a different themed post of top 10 things.
1. My Lady Jane (Pretty —-> Amazing)
So, the birds and the bees already know just how much I covet this series, especially book one. I like the first cover, BUT, as I bought this novel quite late I actually had a choice, because Walker Books Ltd reprinted it with an amazing cover. It’s not that I don’t like the first one, it’s really pretty, it’s just that I love illustrations more than photos, and this illustration is both amazing AND hilarious, just like the book! The first cover makes me think of a historical YA romance, which My Lady Jane is, but it’s also utterly hilarious and cover 2 shows it. I am patiently waiting for Walker Books Ltd to publish My Plain Jane too, fingers crossed!
2. Tell the Wolves I’m Home (Meh —-> Adorable!)
Another book I adore, and one of the rare contemporary YA novels I read and liked. The second one shows some details and the overall quirkiness of the novel better, the first one is just bland and looks like a middle grade book if you ask me. I just find the second one more appealing, with its intricate swirls and nice fonts. I haven’t bought it yet actually, even though it’s one of my favorite books, because the prettier edition is quite costly and I always feel like I can get two books for that price, so I do just that.
3. Tender Morsels (Beautiful —-> WTF)
This is also one of my ultimate favorites, but it was actually quite hard to pick an edition because four of them I simply adore, all conveying a similar message. And one I hate. I mean, what the hell? Seriously? Is a person who has never heard of this book going to buy it based on THAT cover? Are they going to think this is an utterly magical book? No. Why they’ve done this is beyond me.
4. A Darker Shade of Magic (Cool —-> Ugly)
One of the best series I’ve ever read, A Darker Shade of Magic deserves a cover that fits. The first one is minimalistic, which isn’t used often in fantasy, but here it works so well. I love the usage of London maps and minimal colors, they make sense considering we have both a black and a red London in the books. I also adore that font! The other one? It uses the same colors, yes, but it’s not minimalistic, it’s a mess. It looks quite generic, which is bad if you want something to be unique. The silhouette is horrible. It’s used on book covers massively because it’s very easy to do it, but it’s quite rare to see it used well. Here it isn’t. I wouldn’t buy this book.
5. The Book Thief (Please go away —-> Intriguing)
I hate movie covers. I hate them with a passion. How is putting a still from the movie on the cover creative? Answer: it’s not. The first cover says: Hey, maybe you’ve seen this movie, so will you buy the book too, because money? That’s what I hear each time I see a movie cover. When I saw that other cover, I was intrigued. It’s vague, simple and effective. It makes you want to read the blurb on the back. It’s also symbolic, which you’ll realize after you read the novel. I believe that sometime it’s better to be vague, to leave out the main plot points out of the cover, and #2 does this well. 90% of photo covers are ghastly, but people are lazy.
Now, let’s look at some books I haven’t bought/read yet:
6. The Light Between Oceans (Generic and dull —-> I love it)
Haven’t read it yet but/because I watched the movie first. I loved the movie so I’m waiting a bit to forget as much of the plot as possible, so I can enjoy the book more. I do that often. The first cover is a typical historical fiction cover. Remove all the text, look at it, and you’ll know it’s a historical fiction. Why? Take a look at many other historical fiction novels and you’ll find quite a lot of similarities. The other one is beautiful, simple, unique. It doesn’t say a lot about the plot, unlike the first, which may be considered a spoiler because I bet you’ll be wondering who that child is.
7. The Snow Child (Cute and mysterious —-> Throw it into the fire)
Based on the blurb, I’m going to love this novel. In 1920, Alaska, a childless couple builds a girl out of snow, and the next day it’s gone, instead a real, mysterious girl appears, along with a fox. These two covers both convey that bit of info, but in totally different manner. When I look at cover #1, I see a hidden, unimposing tiny book, hidden on the shelves, and those usually attract my attention. When I look at cover #2, I see a flashy, ugly blue. This is the ugliest shade of blue there is. I also see pre-made Photoshop brushes stacked on top of each other. Kill me, please, and quick. I feel this book is mysterious and gentle (Can a book be gentle?) and cover 1 says it too, but cover 2 is yelling at me, and I don’t like yelling.
8. 11/22/63 (Not perfect but interesting —-> A gynecology pamphlet?)
Hear, hear, I watched the mini-series first. I LOVED it. I want to read this massive book because I know I’ll love it too. But if you have no idea what’s going on here, would you just buy cover #2 on a whim, especially considering it’s around 800 pages? Cover 1 speaks of crime, of JFK assassination, there’s a bit of blood there too, a newspaper article, I like it. Cover 2? It looks like a textbook, or something I might find in my gynecologist’s waiting room. And I guess the blue blobby thing symbolizes time-travel? Yuck. Predominantly white cover? Double yuck.
9. The Roanoke Girls (Mysterious, gripping —-> Hello generic thriller cover!)
“A gripping, provocative thriller about the twisted secrets families keep.” Count me in. The first cover says the same thing. I haven’t seen anything like that, I like it! Cover 2 though.. If you’re a massive thriller fan, and you own a lot of books, I dare you to take a look at your shelves and find a similar cover. I’ll wait. Not for long though. Not all thrillers are the same, so why do they all seem to have the exact same cover? So you know it’s a thriller? Come on, please, be creative people!
10. Pet Sematary (Not aesthetically pleasing but freaky! —-> What in the hell?!)
This is the book I’m currently reading. I’m at about 50% and this novel is giving me the heebie jeebies big time. The first cover is the same. I don’t think it’s pretty (Especially the green of that font.), but it’s not supposed to be, you know? It’s creepy af. The second cover… what.do.we.have.here? I just look at each detail and shout out WHY. Why would you put text into Louis’s mouth?? Why would you draw him a ghastly tear?? Those colors – WHY??? Ugh, I’d like to bleach my eyes now please.
Thank you for your attention. Do you agree with me? If not
I’ll fight you then feel free to change my mind! I’m always up for a discussion, especially on sacred design matters. If you can call some of this design.