If there’s any novel that’s just made to have a beautiful cover, it’s The Lord of the Rings.
I would think this novel would be a book designer’s dream come true. So much inspiration.
Every now and then, I’ll take a look back at some book covers over the years for specific novels. We’ve done it with The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath and The Sound and the Fury.
Now let’s take a look at some of the The Lord of the Rings covers over the years. Read more
Let’s take a closer look at this highly unusual cover. Read more
If you ever have about 10 minutes (or more) to kill, do yourself a favor and head over to Lousy Book Covers.
If you get a kick out of looking at horrific book covers, then you’ll love this Tumblr, in that train wreck sort of way.
Last year, I posted some samples from the blog, with my commentary on each cover. Because it’s Friday and none of us really want to think very hard, I thought I’d do that again today.
So here are some more recent samples from Lousy Book Covers. For hundreds more, go check out the blog for yourself.
You might remember my little guy from a few months ago, when he judged some classic books by their covers and nearly broke my blog as a result of all the traffic.
He was two then. He’s three now. He’s a few months older and wiser. And, today, he brings his literary insight back to 101 Books.
So without further delay, my three year old will now judge the following books by their covers.
My son will be 3 years old in June, and I love the fact that he’s into reading. A day usually doesn’t go by without him asking me or his mom to sit down and read a book with him.
During all those reading sessions, I’ve learned that he’s an imaginative little guy.
So I decided to put that imagination to use and see what he thinks about the books I read, not just the books about Elmo and Thomas The Train and Lightning McQueen.
So I grabbed a bunch of classic books, got him to sit in my lap, showed him the cover of each book, and then asked him one question: “What do you think this book is about?”
He took it from there:
Nothing brings the joy of humor and the mental anguish of awkwardness like a really, really bad book cover.
Some of these featured in today’s post are just painful. All of these come from an awesome Tumblr called Lousy Book Covers that I recently discovered.
And all of these are real. I wish I could say they weren’t. I wish I could say they were just fake Photoshop jobs. But, no, these are indeed actual book covers from actual, real books. The Lousy Book Covers site links back to all the books on Amazon.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
I have seen a terrible book cover, and it is Snow Crash.
What is up with this thing?
I know it was 1992, but was graphics software really that bad? This is a book about advanced technology and the internet, and this is the best we can do with a cover?
A cover that looks like something I might have made in my 10th grade graphic arts class?
Let’s examine. There’s a real guy, not a graphic from what I can tell, running down a hall of some sort toward a light, an open doorway. He’s surrounded by some sort of programming code. How fancy.
Now, maybe I’m missing something here. Since Snow Crash is a kind-of over-the-top parody of the cyberpunk science fiction genre, maybe this cover is a little bit of a parody in itself. Maybe it’s purposefully bad?
But why would a publisher do that? Most readers won’t have any idea of what the book’s about, so this cover would be their first impression. Would they get it? Am I not getting it?
Am I like the Chinese paper that thought this article from The Onion about Kim Jon-Un being named the world’s sexiest man was actually true? I love The Onion. Please tell me I’m not misunderstanding The Onion?
And why am I asking so many questions?
Was this cover inspired by the Six Million Dollar Man?
A novel like The Great Gatsby, which is nearly 90 years old and is one of the most successful novels of all time, inevitably will have dozens of covers over the years.
I love looking back at all of the different interpretations of the novel through cover design. You might remember, we’ve looked at covers before with The Sound and the Fury and Neuromancer and The Grapes of Wrath.
I dug through the interwebs looking for legitimate covers of the novel, but keep in mind that a lot of people like to make their own redesigns. Just for kicks, I guess. I believe I’ve filtered out all of those, but one or two might have sneaked in. So what’s Gatsby’s cover looked like over the years?
What is it with Neuromancer and the creepy book covers?
After noticing a trend, I did an image search of the novel and came up with five book covers that may or may not give you the willies.
You tell me, which one is the creepiest? Here are the candidates: