My thoughts on book covers

Hi everyone, welcome to this week’s blog post. Unlike the reviews and personal posts I’ve been writing in the past, this one will take a different approach and style. As my title states, in this post I will be discussing all things to do with ‘book covers’!! Yes, that’s right, this book blogger is about to take you on a journey into her fascination with book covers…

Oh good, you made it! You had me worried for a bit!! 

So, initially I thought I’d just talk about the things I look for in book covers and the way they appeal to me, but then I realised I should get some research done, just in case. Being a librarian does have some perks in that I can even give you some funny stories about the questions we’ve had to answer on book covers in libraries along with some serious facts. 

A quick history on book covers

Did you know they were called ‘dust jackets, to begin with? The few books and sites I went to showed me those first covers were just a plain piece of paper wrapped over the books to protect them from the dust and dirt from the roads. Hence the name!! This role as ‘protector’ diminished over the years and became one of display and promotion. The design of book jackets, as they were later called, evolved over time to reflect the social changes in the world. As the twentieth century wore on the pictorial designs on book jackets became increasingly appealing and began a new era of employment for illustrators and designers. 

There’s a whole heap of books and websites that can give you more in-depth history into book covers if you’re interested. These two books gave me quite a fair bit of information along with the site listed below. 

Right, I won’t bore you with any more technical or historical jargon. 

image of book spines together on red background in different sizes
For vintage book lovers

This cute image is the catalyst that made me want to explore book covers and their importance to us bibliophiles. I guess I’ve loved a good cover since a young age and still have a few older hardbacks somewhere inside a box. Sadly, they’re inside a storage unit so I won’t be able to show you, but I remember devouring my copy of Little Women over the years.

Oh, how I loved those covers!! When I was younger I guess the ratio of bright colour image to typography appealed to me. Now that I’m older, and a bit more of a professional,… I still do!! I don’t know why; maybe because I’m a visual sort of person and I tend to gravitate towards colourful book covers. 

These three look completely different don’t they? To me, the different colours contrasting to each other in each individual cover, appeal to my all round love of quirky books.  Mind you, these titles have themes that are typically relevant to today’s tween and they are award-winners to boot!!

In these two, the imagery used gave me a reflection of aspects of the book and invited me to pick it up. It was only after reading a little bit did I realise why; they evoked deep emotions within me as I felt myself drawn into the world of these characters as the chapters raced by. I knew from the image of the girl in the hijab that Other words for home would be about a young Muslim girl, but I didn’t expect the narrative to take the form of poetry and take my whole soul along with it!! 

Have any of you felt anything like this? If you do, I’d love to hear from you and the books that give you strong feelings. 

image of ostrich wearing glasses green background. writing in white above and below face reads It's a green book with a flower on the cover? No problem. because that's totally how we organize this library.
Heard in the library…

Hope you find this funny!! The sad thing is sometimes it’s a question I have to try to find the answer to at the public library. The one thing they can remember turns out to be the colour of the book cover and a random image on it. No title, no author name, and no hope of them knowing the publication information or ISBN to help us!! What do we do?? Call the library helpline for book covers: 0800 Dial-a-cover?? We wish we could!! This is where we get creative and ask as many questions as we can to jog their memories but I still hope for some kind of app or database that helps with this query!! 

The reason I shared this with you is because like those people, and visual learners like me, most of us take our cues from the images we see on billboards, ads on TV, magazines, social media and books. I believe book cover images have a way of triggering emotions and lead to books that change our lives for the better. 

These are a few of the books that have changed my life. Gretchen Rubin showed me in all of her books how to find happiness in the little things in my life. Since reading her books, following her on social media, I am trying to live a life that is happier!! With the two tween books, young Auggie and Jamie taught me that courage and kindness should always take the centre court in your life. Although they’re not real life people, you find yourself learning a lot about life and how to tackle it in reads such as these!! 

Do you think you would ever have gone through something similar in your life? Would you claim that a book cover with a striking design could change your life?? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!!

Well, that’s all the thoughts I have on book covers for the moment. I may pick it up again at a later stage.  

Stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

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