Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Judge Books By Their Covers: "The Bookseller"

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. edition, the right is the U.K. version.

 The German version with the title "When I Woke Up."

As I mention in my review, half the reason "The Bookseller" caught my attention is that it's got the word "book" in the title and features a book on the cover. (The other half of the reason is that it's set in Colorado, my home state, in the '60s.) I wasn't overly wowed by Swanson's novel, but I thought it would be fun to compare covers.

Out of the three options, the U.S. cover is the one most likely to cause me to pick up the book and read the blurb if I saw it sitting on a shelf somewhere -- but it really doesn't do anything to tell the reader what the book is about. The main character owns a bookstore, but other than that books don't really come into play at all.

The U.K. cover gives the best idea of what the story is about -- the same woman living two very different lives. I don't hate the artwork, but it doesn't do much for me either. The vintage coloring conveys the appropriate time period, but it's not as aesthetically pleasing as the U.S. cover. I think it just needs more of something. (Or less of something? Maybe that bright aqua stripe down the front is distracting.)

The German cover -- WTF, Germany? I have absolutely no idea what any of that has to do with the story. A cityscape, some brightly colored polka dots, birds, flowers? However, the title (can someone tell me why they change these things?!) actually fits the story far, far better than "The Bookseller." It translates to "When I Woke Up," and it's fitting because the main character of the book is living in two worlds, a dream world she visits at night and her real life. On top of that, she's eventually "woken up" -- snapped out of the fog she's been living in.

I wish the book had the German title and some cross between the U.S. and British artwork. Mish-mash all three and you'd actually have a beautiful cover that gives the reader some clue as to what lies on the pages within!

Winner: ?
A cross between all three would be ideal.


  1. U.K. for me! None of the bloggers I follow was wowed by this novel either. Bummer after getting so excited about the bookstore theme!

  2. The UK cover caught my eye too. Too bad it didn't turn out to be such a good read.


Thanks for stopping by! Comments make my day, and I read and appreciate every single one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...