My favourite book covers

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish was “Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign”, which sounded like a great idea.

However, I’ve changed things, for two reasons. Firstly, it’s Wednesday…oops. Secondly, I find myself wondering how much I buy books just because they have a nice cover or a cool title. I say this because I couldn’t find ten covers I wanted to redesign. In fact I only found one* (unless I’m allowed to include, you know, the Dictionary) – my copy of The Catcher In The Rye. Yeah, that boring red, black and white one with almost nothing written on either side (it seems to be a very common edition).

So instead, I’m going to post up some of my favourite ever book covers. I like these for a whole range of reasons – some because they capture the book so well, some because they just look amazing, some because they convey so much with so little and some because I just like them so there!

Anyway, enjoy! (And sorry about the weird formatting)

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Animal FarmThe Night Circus

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared









The Name Of The Wind

The Shadow Of The Wind

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Everything Is Illuminated









Vanished Kingdoms

Billy Connolly Bravemouth

Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations









The Feckin' Book of Everything Irish

Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall

Soul Mountain

The Complete Edgar Allan Poe


I’ll stop there, because it’s occurred to me I could keep going with this for quite a long time. I may do a second one of these posts at some point down the track, if I feel like it. I think I may do something similar to this for music and movies, too.

*Okay, I found a second book cover I could redesign. Stephen Fry’s history of classical music had a dreadful cover. Still, I feel I made the right choice with this blog post.

What are some of your favourite book covers?

Does the book cover have any sway over whether you’ll buy a book, or is it all about what’s between the covers for you?

18 thoughts on “My favourite book covers

  1. This is a fantastic blog idea, may I steal it? Because book covers just make me happy. I love the Irish one. The cover does help me decide what copy to get if there’s a choice, and if i have multiple books by the same author I like them to be from the same publisher so they match.

    • You may steal it (although I notice you already have, I’ll go look at that in a second). I know what you mean – book covers make me happy too, which is probably why I had such a hard time trying to find covers in my collection I didn’t like. I love the Irish one too, it’s such a great title – it was actually originally in several smaller books focusing on specific aspects, and when they put them altogether in this one book they combined all the names into one epic title, as well!
      Ahhh that’s interesting how you like your books by the same author to be by the same publisher. I don’t think I do that across the board, but I do for some authors. For example, I have 20something P.G.Wodehouse books that are all part of the same print done in the last few years. I saw an omnibus edition of some books by Wodehouse but it was decades old, and although it looked cool it wouldn’t have fit with what I already had so I didn’t buy it. But I don’t do that very often, though.

  2. I agree with most of your choices here. I love covers but actually they don’t have any influence on whether or not I buy the book. Most of the covers on my stuff are designed by my daughter who is an illustrator and graphic designer and I love them. One thing that does annoy me is when I buy and ebook and the publishers have not bothered to do a proper cover for it. It is as easy as sneezing and I feel cheated. I always start my ebooks at the cover as if they were hard copy books and a generic, grey picture of an open book makes me annoyed. I love the covers on Terry Pratchett’s books and the English ones are better than the American ones for some reason, they look lovely on the book shelf and they are almost a Where’s Wally with the story reflected in the pictures. My copy of Catcher in the Rye is the bleh one as well.

    • That’s cool that your daughter designs your covers! I could easily turn to family or to my partner to make my covers when I get to the point of wanting to publish something, as well. πŸ™‚
      I know what you mean about ebooks – I think they have a long way to come. Not only do a lot of them not have the covers, but the amount of typos I find in them is just appalling. They’re definitely not replacing real books anytime soon, not with a lack of quality like that.
      I agree, a lot of the Terry Pratchett covers are quite nice. I think I’ve seen the English ones, not 100% sure actually πŸ˜›

    • Yeah, I love the one for Shadow Of The Wind, and I love that he kept the theme running for the other two books in that series, as well (The Prisoner of Heaven is quite similar especially, I think). And I think Everything Is Illuminated captures the mood and atmosphere of that novel so well. Glad you liked them, I’ve already thought of more for a second post. πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: ‘Favourite Book Covers’ | Mitten'sKittens

  4. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but they sway me all the time, when I’m not looking for something specifically because the book was recommended by someone. Of all the ones you showed us here, I think my favourite is the Edgar Allen Poe cover.

    When my publisher asked me to approve the covers of my books, I was a little hesitant, knowing how important that first impression is for a reader. I was so happy when they showed me what Relish Design had created – way better than anything I could have designed, myself! πŸ™‚

    • I know exactly what you mean – the covers and the titles of books have far more influence on whether or not I buy that book than they should. I really like the Edgar Allan Poe one as well – I think that particular one is out of print now, although the latest one I’ve seen is perhaps even nicer looking.
      It would be very daunting to have to approve the cover of your own book. It’s something I often wonder about my own books when I one day publish, how I would design the covers. I have a little sister who is qualified, working in and very talented at digital design, though, so if I struggle to create something myself I’ll probably nag her, hahaha! πŸ™‚

  5. I loved The Night Circus cover! Did you see the hardback or the paperback? I loved the fact that the edges of the hardback were black and then the red ribbon and the cover itself…. all just so perfect for this story!

    • The one I had (or rather borrowed – it may be the only book I have ever borrowed off my mother, hahaha) was just the paperback, although I did see the hardback somewhere else too. I love the colour scheme of the design. As you say it just fits the story so well, both thematically but also quite literally.

  6. Great list! Love the covers and many of the titles you featured here–The Night Circus, Animal Farm, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Everything is Illuminated, The Shadow of the Wind (love that cover especially–I have two different covers for my hardback and paperback editions, lol), Davies’ Vanished Kingdoms (again, I think I have a different cover for my paperback edition, but I can’t remember atm), The Name of Wind.

    I still have The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet sitting on my eReader waiting to be read…maybe I’ll read it in the coming year? *fingers crossed*

    (Btw, this is @unavitacaffeina on Twitter–haven’t gotten around to blog commenting until now *blushes*)

    • Thanks, I’m glad to see you agree (and also glad to see you have some of the same books, especially Vanished Kingdoms which isn’t exactly a title I find myself discussing with friends as often as, say, Animal Farm, or The Shadow Of The Wind). The Shadow Of The Wind has some really nice covers, although there are a couple of rather average ones too that I’ve seen online. All of Zafon’s books have quite nice covers available actually.
      Yeah, I started The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet but while I was reading other books and about to start NaNoWriMo AND about to immigrate overseas. Currently deciding whether to take the book with me or box it with the others until I can afford to ship it over. It looks amazing but quite daunting as well.
      And that’s okay, I haven’t been on my blog all that much lately either – it’s hard sometimes, especially in November! πŸ˜› Thanks for the comment and everything, always much appreciated! πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: Day 22 – My favourite book cover (30 Day Book Challenge #2) | Wanton Creation

  8. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces of Art | Wanton Creation

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