Original Book Covers Are The Best Book Covers

Why do some people think that when a book is re-released, the cover should be re-designed? Did they learn nothing from the “New Coke” incident of 1985?

When I read a book to death (RIP Watchers & Watership Down), I search for replacement copies of the original covers. I know the content of the books doesn’t change, but I love the originals. I’m sentimental like that.

Does anyone think this:

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is better than this?

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(The answer is no, in case you wondered.)

I miss the days when authors’ books were easily recognizable by their covers. All of Christopher Pike’s, LJ Smith’s, Dean Koontz’s book covers had designs that were as distinct as their voices.

That being said… I do enjoy getting some classic books with a variety of covers. I have different versions of Pride and Prejudice and some of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland that I enjoy. I like some of the covers better than others, but I’m not emotionally attached to any of them. Maybe it’s because of when I read them?

Did you hear that the original Babysitter’s Club books are going to be re-released with the original covers, in a collector’s tin? It’s true; you can pre-order them on Amazon. I’ve already bought mine. My collection didn’t survive my parents’ attic.

Where do you weigh in on new vs. old book covers?

Judging Books By Covers

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The first book I picked up because the cover was pretty. The second, because I like the way the vines look.

I have some strong opinions when it comes to books, possibly about many things that other people don’t care about.  That’s okay; I can live with that.

One of the things that drives me crazy is when a movie comes out, and suddenly the book is released with a different version of the cover to reflect the movie.  I get why they do that; it’s to increase sales.  Associating the book with the movie makes good sense from a marketing standpoint.

But I still don’t like it.

In general, I prefer the older covers, and when I go to used book stores, I can spend several minutes choosing which cover I like best.  For example, I accidentally bought two copies of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  This was a great book, but I obviously don’t need two copies of it.  However, I can’t decide which one to sell back to Half-Price Books because I like both covers.

People say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” obviously meaning not to judge something’s content by what it looks like on the inside. It’s true, but I confess that sometimes a book cover will catch my eye, and that’s the only reason I read the description on the back of the book.

These things matter. If they didn’t, all books would be in a plain brown cover with simple black writing. A good cover can hint about the contents. When I’m in the mood to read horror, I’m unlikely to pick something with flowers on the cover, no matter what the title says. Well, unless they’re dead flowers. Or blood spattered… you get the idea.

One of the best choices I made, based on the cover, was John Dies at the End. I spotted it while walking through the library, and when I read the back, I had to give it a try. It was a fantastic book. Runners up are the ones pictured above.

Is the book cover important to you?  What are your preferences?