Top Ten Tuesday: Stop Embarassing Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme hosted by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish.  I wasn't sure about this topic today, because I feel a little bad ragging on particular covers, but I'm going to take it in my own direction, so here it is: Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could Redesign.

Here are the types of book covers that make me cringe (I haven't read some of these books I chose; they are merely serving as examples):

1. Really girly chick lit covers:  I think this makes people assume that these are "women's books" and that they are of an inferior quality.  I actually like a lot of books by and for women and would like it if they didn't have to market themselves this way to sell.

2. Based on the movie covers: I've already complained about this on my Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves.  The offending cover that prompted my complaint is the lovely Possession on the left.  I'm also particularly offended by Precious because that isn't even the title of the book.

3. Live models on covers:  Why?  There are lots of great artists and illustrators out there in the world, trying to make a living.  Here is a perfect showcase for their talents.  Young adult and romance are the biggest offenders here.  I think they look like advertisements, and I see plenty of those everywhere else.

And, to even it out, here are some trends in covers that I do love:

1. Neon:  This might show up on some peoples' problem lists, and I understand.  However, I love it.  Give me some bright colors sitting on a bookstore display and I'll buy it.  I'm like a fish, drawn to shiny things on the bottom of the sea.

2. Color block/ minimalism:  I'm totally into these Melville House editions, so simple.  I mean there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about here, or to bias your opinion about what is inside.  They let the books speak for themselves.

1. Penguin:  Love them.


  1. I just really love your cover thoughts. I never have put much time into thinking about this but the points you make are like what I would think if I thought about it. Does that make any sense?

  2. whats with the one wit the chairs?
    interesting cover choices, i have never really heard of many of these books probs because they have crap covers,

    Thanks for stopping by,

    The Book Mystress, xx

  3. I don't care for color block/minimalism book covers. They're so boring!

  4. I agree with the chick-lit covers. They really run me off, despite my not having anything against most chick-lit.

    Live models bug me as well. Reminds me of 'soap operas.' Too dramatic and fake.

  5. Yes! I agree with you on all points, and I like the examples you chose.

  6. You make a lot of good points, especially when covers put off a wider audience, it's only hurting the book. And I agree on cover models, I want to imagine what the person looks like, not see a picture of a real person. Thanks for visiting my list! :)

  7. I don't really mind the live models. I mean eye-candy is eye-candy. But I don't like it when I see their faces. I know it is weird beyond weird. Backs, legs, feet, arms, chests, necks. All of those are fine! But the faces. It takes the mystery away for me. I have one friend who literally refuses to even read a book with faces on it. So funny to shop for books with her!

    I want to image the face...which is why I hate book covers with actors faces. Not fun.

    But I agree with the penguin covers. I heart them so much! Emma with the chairs. So cute!

  8. I don't like books that have nothing except their titles on the covers.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog:)

  9. I have to admit that I really don't like chick lit but I still agree with your reasons for having them on your list. As soon as you see a bubble gum pink book you know who it's marketed for. Lacks so much imagination.

    I also like the minimalist books and think more artists should be let at the books rather than live models. Again it lacks imagination.

    I LOVE PENGUIN!!!!! I was going to do a list of covers I loved too but my post would have been too long. Might do it as a separate post. I love the hardback ones you posted images of. My copy of Dorian gray is one of those and it's so pretty. They also brought out a selection in their red series which is lovely. They are bringing out a selection books which were designed by an embroiderer. Some of them look very effective.

  10. Ohhh that cover of Possession *is* horrible; very different to the nice non-movie cover.

    And I also love Penguin covers :)

  11. I basically love all penguin covers! Seriously, they're the best :)... Even though I refused to judge books by their covers hehe

  12. I am completely with you on the "based on the movie" covers. Ugh. Drives me nuts. I mean, I am glad that people are reading, even if it's only because of the film, but really guys???

    I'm also with you on the Penguin covers, especially their new hardbacks. If I regularly bought hardbacks, I'd totally snap those up!

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my list. Many people didn't "get" that I'd decided to do the covers I like. *le sigh*

  13. I wonder if we have done a Top Ten on covers we love....I don't remember it, but it would be a fun idea.

  14. I really enjoy the Penguin covers too. They make me want to buy books I already own!

  15. i really agree with your reasons. esp the chick lit covers. they put me off more than anything!

  16. Yes, I totally agree about the all too 'girly' covers. Well, they're not fore me anyway since I read very few of this type of book. But the covers are certainly not selling them to me, that's for sure.

    I also dislike most movie tie-in covers.

    Of course, I love Penguin!

  17. I totally agree with your disdain for covers with scenes/people from the movie version. And I had noticed that sometimes book titles "change" to the name of the movie, which is another thing I don't like :o)

  18. I do agree with some of the girlie covers, I think publishers think they'll sell more. Again with the film tie-ins though I do have the odd one or two that I don't mind.

    As a photographer, I don't want to dismiss good photography on a cover. Yeah, headless people or scantily clad models are off putting and haven't had much thought put into them but a drawn cover isn't nessecarily better for me.

  19. Good point PWB. I do like nicely photographed covers. I just don't really like people in the photographs.

  20. Oh dear, that cover for Possession is atrocious! I would never pick that up. I LOVE the Coralie Bickford-Smith cover designs for Penguin Classics - wish I could afford to buy some of them.


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