Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Judge Books By Their Covers: "The Little Paris Bookshop"

 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 -- and it's so fun to see who prefers what!

 U.S. // U.K.

German ("The Lavender Room" -- the original title) // Czech ("Lavender Room")

My review of "The Little Paris Bookshop" (3 out of 5 stars)

This is a tough one. If I had to choose one of these books based purely on cover art alone, I'd pick the U.S. edition. I pretty much like everything about it: the pretty font, the lovely colors, the postcard with the cute book stamp, the Eiffel Tower in the background. Everything about that cover screams "This is a book for Lindsay!" The U.K. cover is just about as great as the U.S. one -- it's also really eye-catching and I like the font, the curlicues and the awesome book border.

The German and Czech covers are definitely not as attention-getting as the U.S. and U.K. ones. The German one could use a little more going on, and the Czech cover has a really ugly font and is also just a little dull.

But! I think the U.S. cover is misleading and that actually factored into my overall disappointment with the book. The U.S. cover -- and the U.K. one to a degree -- are lighthearted, whimsical, cheerful and fun. In reality, the book isn't exactly that. And the plot isn't even really about a bookshop -- a somewhat more important part of the story is a "lavender room," as in the original German title (and some of the other international editions).

If I could create a better cover for this book -- one that's beautiful and accurate to the story -- I'd start with the German cover, which features lavender flowers and a white table, both important to the novel. Then I'd slip a letter into the picture and change the font to be more like the U.S. version (still in shades of purple, though).

Do tell, which cover speaks to you? Have you read "The Little Paris Bookshop"? Which cover do you think best reflects the novel?

Winner on looks alone: U.S. cover
Winner when factoring in accuracy to the story: German cover

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