Weekly Geeks: Covers

August 9, 2010 at 12:05 am 4 comments

Nothing irritates me like a good book with a bad cover. I’ve said it on Facebook, and I’ll say it here — a bad cover can ruin an entire reading experience. Take a look at the covers from one of my favorite books above: can you deny that each cover seems to reflect a completely different book?

For whatever reason, a book’s cover has a profound impact on how I feel about what’s between those pieces of cardboard. I’m now reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things, which on my copy is mostly white and blue, very clean and almost tranquil. Even though the stories themselves are somewhat terrifying, I can’t help but feel somewhat peaceful while reading it, and all because of that blue robin’s egg on the front.

Cover color is the reason I ended up reading The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, too — the teal backdrop with the chocolate frosting and the yellow cake just screamed, “THIS IS A BOOK YOU WOULD ENJOY.” The book itself ended up being vaguely unsatisfying, but no one can deny that the cover is wonderful.

Good books with bad covers can also be unsettling, sadly. I have been putting off reading Possession by A. S. Byatt because I hate the cover of my copy. The first page seems good and I’ve heard wonderful things about it, but I don’t know what is going on with the people on the cover. Sure, that’s Merlin and Nimue, which probably means the book has something to do with forbidden love or one-sided love or (most likely) seduction that leads to a tragic yet unavoidable destruction. But I won’t be able to forget about the weird look on that guy’s face the whole time I am reading. How much different my reading experience would be if I were reading this version!

But maybe not everyone is as cover-oriented as I am. Do you like your covers to be beautiful, or are you more a “love what’s on the inside” kind of reader? Tell me all about it below!



Entry filed under: Weekly Geeks. Tags: , , , .

Fantasy Friday: How do you like yours served? Imagined London by Anna Quindlen

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Eva  |  August 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    My fave covers are the Penguin and Everyman editions, which doesn’t surprise me since those are two of my fave classic publishers. :)

    I’m not affected by covers as much as you, but I’ve noticed I’m more drawn to the library books I get with pretty covers when deciding which book to read next! (I try to correct that by deciding BEFORE I come to the pile, lol) And if I have a choice, I’ll always go for the prettier cover. Possession is a great book, and I greatly prefer the cover you linked to!

  • 2. Abby  |  August 10, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I really, really want every cover to be beautiful, but sadly that is not possible.

    Case in point, The Hunger Games Trilogy. I’ve been meaning to read the entire series, but the covers are so hideous, they keep getting shoved to the bottom of my ‘to-read’ pile. On the other hand, I’ve never really wanted to read The Woman in White, but the gorgeous Coralie Bickford-Smith covers get me every single time.

    This makes me feel shallow :(

  • 3. Abby  |  August 10, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Sorry, I should clarify, I hate the UK cover for The Hunger Games.


    The US version looks much nicer :)

  • 4. jake Gest  |  August 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I try very hard not to let the coverart of a book influence my decision to read the book.

    That said, I love good coverart. Take this amazing cover by John Picacio for Dan Simmons’ Drood. Just amazing as far as I’m concerned. And the book is equally fantastic

    I’ve also seen coverart that was better than the book. I never could finish black sun rising, but Michael Whelan’s cover is what got me to try it out. Just looking at it makes me want to give it another go.

    And yes I have found many a good book with a bad / boring cover. I really enjoyed Rudy Rucker’s white light but the cover art is fairly boring in my opinion (sorry Scott Idleman)


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