books · covers · musings

judging a book by its cover (literally)

*Quietly sneaks back in the room, pretending she hasn’t been gone from this blog for close to 2 months…*

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about book covers lately. I recently finished The Dark Days Club, a Regency/supernatural mashup I totally loved. The second book in the series (The Dark Days Pact) recently came out, and I thought about buying it. But, I took one look at the cover and went “No, I think I’ll get it from the library.”

That got me thinking. When I was younger I certainly still had my preferences for covers–I’ve never been a fan of photos of people on covers– but if a book sounded interesting or I liked the series/author, I’d pick it up anyway. My shelves at home are full of books from my childhood that I might not purchase now because of their covers.

I think this comes from my more limited book budget these day. As a kid, the only thing I spent any money on was books–no rent or groceries to weigh me down! Now I have a limited budget and I can read most books from my library, so when I buy a book I want it to be the whole package. But maybe I have to give in and let go of the cover’s importance a little. I’d rather not look at my bookshelves and realize I’m missing well-loved stories because I didn’t quite like how they looked. After all, there’s literally a oft-repeated saying about that.. You know: Don’t judge a book by its cover. (It goes the other way too. I’ve been burned by books with gorgeous covers before).

So I’m off to a bookstore; Lady Helen is waiting…

Here are some examples from my bookshelf of stories I love, but covers I’m…not so fond of:

thursday next

I love Fforde’s Thursday Next series–it’s full of catnip for literature and grammar fans, it somehow combines like 12 different genres, it’s genuinely funny, etc, etc. But I’ve never liked the original US covers, and this one in particular weirds me out.

(The UK covers are really cool and they’ve updated the US versions…but only some of them, so I can’t have a complete set!)

tamora pierce



I also love Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series (and really all of the Tortall books). These books have been around for a while so they’ve gone through many cover iterations. And I don’t think I’ve seen one I’ve liked yet!




And then there’s Discworld. The cover versions I have are mostly sort of plain but not terrible (they don’t seem to match the awesomeness of Discworld, but I guess what could?). Then there’s this one…yikes.


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