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Judge A Book By It's Cover

I love book covers and the more time I spend browsing books, the more I notice what appeals to me in a cover. There are lots of cover changes that happen-some for the better, some for the worst. And every once in awhile there are cover changes that make the book change for a book I wasn't interested to into a book I want to pick up and read right now! Nothing has changed, it's the same story, same writing, but the cover markets to me in a different way and now I'm interested. Here are some of my recently judged books:
First up, Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan:

-The hardcover is OK, but it doesn't stand out to me at all. There's nothing about this cover that makes me want to pick the book or know more about the story. It's easily forgettable. But the paperback is more interesting:

-To me, this cover has more intrigue. I want to know about the story inside-it looks a bit mysterious and dark and I want to pick it up.

-This cover just bores me. There isn't anything about it that makes it interesting. I really don't like the splattering of purple-it looks off and looks like someone spilled something on the book instead of really making a statement about the contents inside. Here's the paperback:

-I'm still not in love with the cover, but this looks cleaner to me. I also feel like this cover reflects the darkness and the sadness of the book and makes me a bit more interested than the first cover.

Sometimes a reissue of a cover can really save a book! 

-I'll admit, as far as 80's/90's book covers go, this one isn't bad. It's not great, but it's not terrible 80's either. But I would still have a hard time selling this books to teens with this outdated cover on it. It looks OK, but nothing special. So I was thrilled when I saw that the book is being reissued with this new cover:

-Mystery, suspense, and maybe some romance is what this cover says to me. I could see this book flying off my library shelf, especially for fans of historical fiction and readers who enjoyed The Luxe series. I think the black and white cover looks sleek and it makes me want to read this book now!

Another cover issue that I think is my favorite:

Singing the Dogstar Blues by Alison Goodman

-This cover is such a stereotypical, unfortunate science fiction cover. It's like the publisher really wanted you to get that it's in the future and there might be some sort of formula and maybe some time travel. It's weird, it's boring and it makes the book look much more dated than it is (it was published in 2002, but the cover seems much older to me). But the cover reissue looks much better:

-I really like this cover! It's bright and colorful without having too much going on. I also think it gives a science fiction feel without using the steroetypes of the hardcover. There's something about it I find striking and I'm interested in knowing more.

So what do you think? Do these cover makeovers make you interested in the books? Any other cover makeovers that have made you go from not caring to adding the book to your wish list?


  1. oh my gosh yes on the new cover for Amanda/Miranda!

  2. I like the new pb cover of Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan. You're right the first one doesn't really stand out that much or give readers insight as to what the book is about. The pb cover is much better.

  3. I really like these posts with the old and new covers! It's amazing how much a cover can change a person's perception of a book.


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About Me

Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee