Booking Through Thursday: Cover-Up

Cover-Up March 27, 2008

Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:32 am 

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This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

The design of a book doesn’t affect my reading enjoyment necessarily, but I do love a beautiful, well designed cover.  Unless I go to the book store with a specific book or author in mind, the cover art absolutely plays a role in which books I pick up and ultimately bring home. One of my favorite blogs, dedicated to the appreciation of book cover design, is Covers, maintained by Fwis, a design firm based out of Brooklyn, NY and Portland, OR.  It’s a place where people in the industry praise or trash covers.  Go there for some highly intelligent commentary from people in the ‘biz.  This is the cover that currently graces their home page.  What do you think? Would you buy this book?



8 Responses

  1. I’m curious if the cover was designed with the story in mind or if it was selected because the artist seemed to get the point of the book across without even knowing it? Is this animal happy or mean, playing or threatening? Man, now I want to know what the book is about!! I’ll be sure to check out the site.
    My sis is a writer and painter. Her focus is on portrait painting right now but she does daydream about writing childrens books and illustrating them herself.
    You can see some of her work at

  2. I don’t know if I’d buy it, but I’d definitely pick it up to see what it was about.

  3. I’m not sure I’m as attracted to book covers but I do admire them. I probably wouldn’t pick up the Sharp Teeth book unless I’d already heard about it or the author. I admit to reading the first lines of books if I’m not sure I want it – flip open to the first page and if it grabs me, great. I sometimes don’t even read the book jackets! GREAT QUESTION which will probably stay with me the next time I shop for books. The site on Covers was fascinating!

  4. I’d probably pick it up to see what it’s about. The simple design is actually kind of appealing. I have massive appreciation for graphic artists, because they can usually put in to words (as in describing why a cover is good or not) what the rest of us just feel in our gut.

  5. Karen, wow, your sister is fabulously talented. Oh, I looked into this cover, and the book is about a pack of wild dogs.. about what I’d expect! Here’s some of what Covers told me about it: “In this particular instance, the book not only provides us with the graphic, but a general texture and feeling of a well-crafted book. The illustration – in this book about a pack of werewolves told with irregular narrative device – a nasty-looking canine gnashes his teeth, a simple graphic that might even be cut-paper. The concept is nonexistent; the book is about dogs that bite, and… there you are. But the graphic strength and hand-drawn feel, along with the careful printing techniques (the dog’s teeth are foil-stamped) keeps it edgy and contemporary, and provides a strong presence on the shelf without deeply-embossed gold type or massive author treatments.”

    Maree, I’d pick it up too.

    Care, I must be more visually swayed than you! I’m an advertiser’s dream!

    Trish, excellent point and very well put.

  6. I might not buy it, but I would definitely grab it for a second look and thumb through the pages! Great site that is!

  7. I like the simplicity of the cover, but I don’t like the teeth. Or the claws, or nails, or whatever they are.

    It reminds me of a scary movie, and I don’t do scary movies.

  8. Nope, wouldn’t go for that book. Not my style at all!

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