Discuss: Captivating Covers

We’re often told that it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. To be honest, I’ve begun to treat this more as advice pertaining to people rather than books. Of course we shouldn’t judge people solely on their outward appearance, but books? Well, book covers are often telling us quite a bit about the words inside. And besides, they’re pretty to look at. Fair warning, this is probably going to be a very shallow post about books. But if you’re sometimes shallow about books (and you know you are, come on), come join me!


In terms of book cover designs, there are some that stand out from my own personal shelves. The first one that will always be at the top of my Best Cover Designs list is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This cover is absolutely amazing and this is a case where, I think, the stunning cover matches the stunning story inside. And you know what the best part is? They seem to keep redesigning this cover, so it’s become a game of can-I-collect-all-the-covers? So far I have this one, which is the edition that I originally read, and the cover shown here. There is also this edition, which I pine over in bookstores, and this one that I didn’t know existed until today. I should really go book shopping…


Here is another cover that I love seeing on my shelves. This is Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. This book and its fictional universe have a lot to do with color, so it’s very appropriate that the cover is splashed with bright hues. In this book, Fforde creates an incredibly enthralling world that seems to engulf you just as the vibrant colors on the cover might ensnare you as you’re book browsing. And this is another book that has tons of amazing variations to its cover. There’s this one, which alludes to more of the book’s contents; this one, which is really neat; and this one, which is a little less impressive. I’m quite happy with my edition.

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a bit of book cover envy. Penguin currently has a line of books called the clothbound classics and I’ve been seeing them everywhere. Not only are the covers gorgeous, they’re compact, easy to carry around, and have lovely cloth covers. Ah, one day perhaps I’ll be able to buy them all.

How about you guys? What are your favorite cover designs? If you were going to judge books by their covers, which do you think have covers that reflect their inner wonderfulness? Share your thoughts in the comments!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

2 thoughts on “Discuss: Captivating Covers

  1. Paula Cappa March 26, 2013 / 4:14 pm

    Hi Mary. Oh yes, those clothbound covers are just lovely. My second novel is going to be released soon and I’m in the final stages of evaluating book cover designs. I find it very difficult to make decisions on what’s right for the book and me as an author versus what will grab the readers’ attention … because we absolutely do judge a book by its cover as well as the other elements. But that cover is what draws me to pick it up and read the blurb on what’s inside. As an author, I find the book cover issues to be a maddening process.

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