August 16, 2013

Cover Preferences

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

Recently I've realized that I'm a bit of a Cover Snob.

[Although, I like to say I have PREFERENCES - as if a cover does or doesn't push my decision to pick up or put down a book. Whatever.]

Now, there are layers to my affliction.

The most obvious bit to this is that if I see a book with a cover I don't like, my eyes will gloss over it like it's not even there. Kind of like muggles with Diagon Alley.

[Yeah, I'm a nerd times ten.]

Now, sometimes if a friend tells me about a book with a cover my eyes find displeasing, I'll give it a shot. Or if said book is getting a lot of buzz I might look past the cover and get to reading. But if it's on the shelves? Fuhgeddaboudit.

[That's how you say "forget about it" in mobster/Brooklynese. In case you were wondering.]

This is what NYC spends money in. We're cool.
The next layer to my affliction happens once I bring a book with a pretty cover book home. I don't know what's wrong with me, but there are some covers, like the cover of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, that I know I find absolutely stunning but don't pick up for the longest time. I think it's because I think the cover is stunning but not COMPELLING. The cover is just kind of a brilliant piece of art and HELLO, have you ever BEEN to a museum? You DON'T TOUCH THE ART. So I stare and stare until I either tell myself to stop being stupid or someone yells at me and read the book behind the pretty cover (that I was almost positive I'd love anyway). Another example of me not wanting to disturb the pretty cover is Seraphina. Stupid freaking gorgeous covers.

[I find that I have this issue a lot with fantasy books. So basically, cover designers for fantasy books, you're making art. Put it in the Met and stop torturing me.]

But then there's this other problem that exists: the perception of beauty/cover awesomeness is 100% subjective. Today Rachel and I went to Barnes and Noble. She realized that she loves covers with flowers on them (among other things, of course). I'm not so into that, the same way I'm not so into covers that have people's faces on them (unless there's a really pretty dress involved, like Something Strange & Deadly or The Selection). I don't go for characters holding weapons or harsh coloring either (I could make a serious list of covers with the heroine holding a weapon, but I won't). And, honestly? If I didn't trust Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti and similarly awesome contemporary authors, I probably wouldn't read their books because their covers just kind of are for me. Like, they don't stand out.

I'm more into text walls (ex: How to Lead a Life of Crime and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock) covers with gilded text (ex: Belle Epoque) and covers with beautiful coloring (ex: The Beautiful and the Cursed, the new covers of Stephanie Perkins's books and Ignite Me). I also really like romantic/dreamy covers (ex: Still Star-Crossed and Perfect Ruin) covers with graphics (ex: the back cover of Winger and everything by Rainbow Rowell) and mixed media covers (ex: Jennifer E. Smith's books). I ALSO really like covers where the models are holding hands (ex: The Distance Between Us and Amy & Rogers Epic Detour) because hand holding is cute and Doctor Who has led me to believe it's the most perfect gesture ever.

Was Micky even in that shot before they started holding hands? Am suddenly scared.
Honestly, I have no idea why any of these cover themes do it for me. It's just what I'm into. And, the same way my friend and I might go to a bar and have different opinions on how hot a guy is, I might very well see a cover in a completely different light than someone else. Which might lead me to ignore a REALLY FREAKING GOOD BOOK that everyone else I know read a million years ago. (I feel like this also goes for guys. Like, everyone else might know that guy's a good guy but I won't even bother to get to know him because I'm dumb. And now I've taken this TOO FAR. I need to learn how to stop. Seriously.)

But enough of me. I wanna know what kinds of covers YOU gravitate towards. Are there any design choices you shun? Any themes you adore? Maybe covers mean nothing to you and it's the summary/title that speaks to you. Whatever it is, be sure to let me know in the comments below!


  1. "The most obvious bit to this is that if I see a book with a cover I don't like, my eyes will gloss over it like it's not even there. Kind of like muggles with Diagon Alley." <- *claps*

    Bahaha, is that sign for real? I hope so.

    Awww, hand holding. We do not agree on a lot of covers, though I also like text quite a lot and gilded text too.

    Micky wasn't there. Holy shit, that's creepy.

    As for my tastes, I'm pretty sure anyone who reads Cover Snark knows already, since I highlight my faves.

  2. *has been distracted by Doctor Who*

    I know a bad cover when I see it (hello, Top Off Tuesday covers!), but I don't know that I've figured out what I like (or don't) about covers. o.O

    *goes back to Doctor Who*

  3. Oh yeah, as much as I wish I didn't, I do pay attention to covers. Not so much if someone recommends a book, but I don't like the cover. I can easily look past a bad cover. But, like you said, if I'm out browsing, my eyes pass right over covers I don't like.

    Also, I agree that what one person loves in a cover, someone else might now. I love anything very feminine: flowers, pretty dresses, flowing locks. But I like other types of covers too. I love when the cover accurately portrays what the book is about. I love the cover for Cinder. You can tell right away that it's about Cinderella (even without the title) because of the shoe, but then you can tell it's science fiction, because of the gears inside the leg. It's perfect.

  4. I don't think I'm really attracted to a specific theme for covers. Some of them I just like, and I don't really know why. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver... Savvy by Ingrid Law... Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis (the paperback version with the Indian girl by the pond). They're all so very different, but beautiful in their own ways.

  5. Ha, the Diagon Alley comment made me giggle! I do love a good hand holding book cover!

    I'm not really sure what draws me into a book's cover.. it's like "When I see it, I'll know!" My favorite type of cover though are ones that make me think or are symbolic in some ways. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are some! :)

  6. Harry Potter reference. I love you.

    Ha, I totally get what you mean with the buying of pretty covers just because they're pretty. That's why I bought Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce AGES ago, even though the reviews have not been that good and it doesn't sound like something I need to read asap. I'm not *that* interested in the story, but it's one of my favorite covers of all time <3 (the original, not the new and weird one)

    Also, you and I love the same sort of covers. I'm not into romantic, girly flower covers. I like unique covers, and mostly covers with AWESOME typography. Or illustrations! I love illustrated covers for middle grade novels.

    I'm a cover snob as well, so covers mean a whole lot to me. Of course, it doesn't change my opinion of the book but it does determine when I pick the book up. My favorite covers of all time: Shadow and Bone/Siege and Storm, Sisters Red, Eleanor & Park/Attachments (UK edition), the new Harry Potter editions. I have more, but my mind is completely blank right now. Whatevs. Shadow and Bone is FOREVER my fave.

  7. Basically, you WIN for the Harry Potter reference. Anytime you can reference that series, it SHOULD happen. As for covers, I too am partial to a pretty cover! Generally, I like covers with well-done typography, or with images on them. I'm not too partial about covers with people on them for some reason! I prefer the more artsy shots or text-heavy ones in general.


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