Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover

So, two options right now: write philosophy essay that's over two weeks late or write a blog entry. Man, that's a hard one...I guess I might just share with you all one of the hot topics of the moment (in my opinion)--the new Penguin Classics covers. I know, it doesn't sound like much of a HOT TOPIC. But I assure you, it is.

You see, Penguin recently released the new cover designs for their collection, to be released in May. They are somewhat different than so-called "traditional covers". Here's one, to show you what I mean:

Instead of the standard background picture and title text, these new covers actually use quotes from the book and small designs. As I read in my Maclean's this last week, Penguin redesigned their covers to, quote on quote (no plagiarism here!) "make the content of the books fresh and accessible, engaging the reader, and tell them what to expect inside the book". Interesting idea, but will it work? I've always had a hard time reading the classics. Maybe the new covers will hook me? Of course, a cover's just a cover--the actual book will still be just as boring as ever... (examples of classics I've tried to read and failed: Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Wuthering Heights, Watership Down, Jane Eyre, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, just to name a few...)

There's a lot of debate over these covers--some people hate them, some people love them. I think they look pretty cool. Generally, though, I am not a fan of reissuing covers. My favourite series, The Princess Diaries (for explanation see here), has had three reprintings in the last five years:

Bought the original "tiara designs" for the first four books, until they switched to the "picture designs" for books 5, 6, 7, and 8, and finally the "diary designs" for the last two books. God, talk about annoying. My series doesn't match at all and I'm too cheap and too sentimental to buy a whole new set. I wish they had just kept the original covers. They were my favourites.

Two other authors I like just recently did a redesign too--Megan McCafferty and Deb Caletti. I'm not too much of a fan of those either. But really, what makes a good cover? Originally, I was going to do a list of Best Covers for this entry, because I'm a listaholic (which is why this site is my addiction). But when I sat down to make my list, I couldn't think of a single cover. I guess I just don't know what constitutes a good one. I mean, I always liked this penguin classic set. But what do I know?

If you want a look into what actually goes into making a cover, watch this video from the awesome Pub Rants blog:

Pretty cool, eh? And what about these covers from Stephenie Meyer?

Uh-oh. Just looked at the clock--time to start working on that essay. Well, I suppose it's ciao for now (oh god, I hate that expression!). See you soon, amiche mie.

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