Hello, my name is Lindsay, and I judge books by their covers.
Confession: I always judge books by their covers. A book's appearance -- from the artwork to the font to the colors to the texture to the weight and cut of the pages (I like the ragged-edged ones) -- is very important to me. And there are certain kinds of covers I like and certain ones I'd never pick up unless I was already planning to read the book. It's fascinating to see how covers change between editions -- hardcover and paperback, or U.S. and international. I'm always discussing book covers with my co-workers at the library, so I thought it would be fun to share some beautiful -- and awful -- covers here!
The cover on the left is the U.S. paperback, the right is U.S. hardcover. (These are the two I discuss below.)
I'm only talking about the two U.S. covers -- they're definitely the best of these five editions.
"The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" was one of my favorite books of 2014 (here's my review), and I really like both of these charming, whimsical covers. I had absolutely no problem with the original hardback version (what bookworm wouldn't like a drawing of a baby in a basket with a book!?), but when I first laid eyes on the paperback it was an instant favorite.
What a stroke of genius to put the original hardback cover on display in the bookshop window! Everything about the paperback cover is warm and inviting -- it makes me want to open up the book -- or better yet, walk into the painting and visit that welcoming, cheery little shop. The paperback cover stayed true to its predecessor -- pops of red on neutrals, lowercase letter Is, and a predominant book theme -- but there's so much more going on. The choice is easy -- the paperback is the clear winner here. How can it not be, when it incorporates the wonderful original cover and has a charm all its own? Do tell: which cover do you prefer?
Winner: U.S. paperback
(A few thoughts on the other editions pictured: the Canadian cover is pretty, but it's lacking a major element -- books (otherwise known as "which one is not like the others?")! The U.K. hardback cover definitely has some whimsical artwork and I do kind of like the wonky bookshelves, but overall it looks a little sloppy and cheap to me. And the U.K. paperback -- just meh. Doesn't do anything for me.)