Go ahead, judge a book by its cover

Everyone knows the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but in fact, many people do (otherwise, why would publishers even bother having graphic design artists to create the book covers?).

However, cover images change. Often, a book that is published here in the U.S. and also “across the pond” in the U.K. has one cover here and another one there. Even within the U.S., a book’s paperback cover is often different from the hardback cover. (Paperback editions of books usually follow about a year after the original hardcover publication; some books are “paperback originals” and never appear in hardback form).

Let’s take a look at a few different covers. From left to right: US hardcover design, US paperback, UK hardcover (if it was published there), UK paperback (if published)

Gold by Chris Cleave

gold2 gold_pbgold_ukgold_uk_pb




The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead (US hardcover and paperback only)





Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature)






Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler’s Wife)






Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (US and UK covers only; not yet released in paperback)






You can see more US/UK cover comparisons at The Millionsan online magazine that covers books (no pun intended), arts, and culture.

So, what do you think? If you’ve read any of these books, which cover do you think is most appropriate? If you haven’t read them, which cover interests you the most?

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1 Response to Go ahead, judge a book by its cover

  1. Pingback: Banned Book Trading Cards | Robbins Library Blog

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