Yes, we are not supposed to judge books by their covers. And we are not supposed to snack before dinner or talk while eating. But we do. Not you perfect people, just the rest of us mere mortals. And what is more – it can be a joyful journey of discovery to move from the point of a cover catching your eye at the book store, through the browsing of the blurb and author bio, to a great read at your favorite reading spot at home. And how I date myself with that description of bookstores and physical browsing!
While I have been a life-long fan of good book covers, I got a whole new perspective on the aesthetics of book covers when I heard Chip Kidd talk about the topic of cover design:
This, of course, got me thinking about the possibility of doing a post about great book covers and, not surprisingly, Flavorwire has beaten me to the idea with a great collection called the 20 Most Iconic Book Covers Ever and followed it up with 10 best book covers of 2011. Given that they have covered the long and the short run, I continued my research. And in the way of the Internet, I stopped to read their quirky list of 10 Crazy and Unusual Book Designs – which by the way, includes a cook book that can be eaten – and also discovered Lovely Book Covers.
Here’s my personal angle: A book that I picked up purely because the cover caught my eye, before I knew it was by Amitav Ghosh, and one that I’d happily recommend to others now is The Calcutta Chromosome.
Are there any book covers that made a particular impression on you? Did the book live up to your expectation or was it a disappointment? Do tell!