Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Judging a book by its cover

Here's a link to the blog for Green Apple Books of San Francisco(I've met one of the owners and he's quite cool).

Check it out for a cute little musing on some books actually being better than their covers.

I admit that I'm a cover slut. In other words, a great cover intrigues and titillates me and I want to get to know that book better, if you know what I mean. When I look at most modern covers, I'm impressed. I can't tell you how many times I've unpacked a book to get it ready for the shelf and had to stop and look inside because the cover was so beautiful/shocking/original. To be sure, this is the job of the cover designers. From the beautiful covers of paintings that grace many historical novels to the cartoony fun of Christopher Moore covers, it's easy to glance at a book and know what tone the author is trying to evoke and which other books on the shelf are going to be similar. Just think about when Girl with a Pearl Earring came out and spawned endless other covers (and books) riffing off of paintings (Girl in Hyacinth Blue, for example). Not to mention Year of Wonders, Birth of Venus, and Secret History of the Pink Carnation.
But what of bad covers? I can certainly think of many that look dated, but I can't blame the poor things for the era that spawned them. Most of the current bad covers are celebrity written, with the person in question posing and posturing on the cover. Yes, we know, the book is about them, their name is on the cover.
Any nominations for recent bad book covers?

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