Raise your hand if you judge books by their covers!
Oh stop it fussing there, you adorable piece of lettuce. I know you judge. I can see it with my all-seeing-Sauron-eyeball. It’s actually impossible not to judge books by their covers, at least a little. They’re art and we’re attracted to art. And honestly? I don’t even feel guilty about cover judging! I spend a few hours reading a book and then THE REST OF MY BORN DAYS owning it. It might as well look nice.
Although I keep the ugly ones for weapons. And to stand on, in case I want to see what the world looks like from normal height. Oh and to kill spiders. I did use a book to kill a spider the other day but (a) it was a book I hated, and (b) do you want me to DIE????????? No. What would you do with your life without my blog??? *
Obviously there are many different types of covers. And people like to give them artsy summaries like “OH THIS IS A TYPOGRAPHY FEATURING COVER!” and nice things like “THIS IS AN ARTISTIC COVER” and “THIS IS A SCENERY COVER”. But today I’m going to be hitting you with some HONEST cover categories. Although I won’t really hit you. I am kind.
I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Cover Theme Freebie” and obviously I jumped to the idea of pithily analysing covers. I mean, 87% of my bookworm life is judging covers. The other 10% is whingeing about my TBR, and 3% actually, you know: reading.
* No no, hush, do not answer this. You could probably be a lot more productive and spend more time furthering your mind by reading academic papers instead of reading my raucous blog and leaving with 82 new books to read and the realisation you need a pet tortoise called Harold and having a personal identity crisis about whether or not you are, indeed, lettuce. (You need me.)
1. THE DRAMATIC DEATH OF A MODEL EVEN THOUGH WHAT DID THEY EVEN DO TO DESERVE THIS. NO ONE CAN KNOW.
Often times when I see a person my first thought is also to “hey let’s throw them off something and take a photo”. Obviously these cover designers are me.
So RIP to all these models, but really. There are plenty of people on the earth anyway.
2. THE “I HAVE A WEAPON AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE IT” FABULOUS CATASTROPHES.
We all like to picture ourselves as badass warriors on occasion….but then it just gets awkward when we realise we have no heckin’ clue how to hold the jolly blade. Like IF I POINT IT AT MY FACE, WILL THAT DESTROY Y ENEMIES???????? There is a 78% chance these characters will impale their own eyes, but, you know. #Aesthetic
And there’s nothing like a good weapon to show you mean business. Or to, you know, save your enemies the trouble and just stab yourself.
3. THE BAD HAIR DAY THAT’S GOING TO END WITH YOU HAVING A HAIRBALL AND REGRETTING YOUR FREE LOCKS.
If you think cats are the only ones who suffer with hairballs — BE WRONG IN YOUR WRONGNESS. Those of us who’ve ever had long hair know that you are destined to be pulling hair out of your mouth at some point. Also to have it whip you in the eyes. Also to have people sit on it, close it in doors, have faeries tie knots in it for LOLs, and to 10000% regret going swimming every. single. time.
Whoever designed these covers was probably a cat. They’re also laughing now at all these humans and their hairballs.
How are you even going to bRUSH THAT OUT????
4. THE “LET’S SET SOMETHING ON FIRE, MUM!”
You know that one kid always setting food on fire whenever there’s decorative candles at the table? Or that one who ran off with the matches? Or that one who grew up to sacrifice their enemies upon an Aztec alter and discover the golden lost city of El Dorado?
They grew up to be a cover designer.
The motto really is: if it looks like marshmallows, BURN THE HEART OUT OF IT. You can literally feel Moriarty’s approval.
And then I will toast you with marshmallows. FEAR YE ME.
5. THE KIDS WHO SHOULDN’T BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED BY THE WATER AT ALL EVER AGAIN.
Do not leave your toddler by the pool. Or your adolescent teenager who only has eyes for pretty dresses and / or boys. I’m not saying you shouldn’t kiss underwater, because who am I to tell you how to live your life. But I’m saying oxygen is cool. Life is cool. That dress was probably cool before you ruined it.
These covers are pretty. But do they make sense??
6. THE “I’VE LOST MY WILL TO DESIGN AND AM HOPING NO ONE NOTICES” COVERS
You know that feeling when you get told “HEY CAN YOU MAKE A COVER FOR THIS BOOK” and you take 3 minutes and then you take a nap and eat a cornflake and adopt a kitten? I think that happened here. It’s not like these are horrible covers, they just clearly say:
NOT A THING AT ALL.
Here have a font and some weird random prop like a love heart or a telephone wire. I’m hooked. Enthralled. My eyes can’t even take it anymore.
No seriously. I’M SO FREAKING BORED.
7. THE I CAN’T DECIDE SO LET’S PUT ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING OF EVER ONTO THIS ONE SMALL COVER.
These are the classic examples of an artist heaping things onto the cover and going “okay say when”…and nobody says when. And this is absolutely my aesthetic. because why have one piece of cake when you can have IT ALL.
And why have one thing, when you can have everything. Honestly this is just getting your money’s worth.
8. THE VAGUE SILHOUETTE TO SAVE US FROM YOUR UGLY FACE.
Models on covers are great. Studies say that about 3% of readers like them. So to improve that stat that I literally made up just then with no founding whatsoever — BRING IN THE SILHOUETTES!! We all like vaguely indistinct blobs on our covers because it saves us looking at someone’s face.
Plus we love how the darkness blobs of nothingness matches our souls. It’s like being twins with a book cover. Well done.
9. THE COUSIN OF SAURON’S EYEBALL, BUT LESS BLOODSHOT AND MORE MAKEUP.
Because we all know books have a strong infatuation with eyeballs. They generally look like the sea of jewels after a storm in the autumn equinox. Or something. EITHER WAY. BEHOLD THE EYE! And then feel vaguely uncomfortable with me. Because there’s nothing worse than the actual book cover judging you if you have to put it down for 3 seconds.
STOP JUDGING ME.
Although 100% think the chap on Insomnia is asking to be rescued with his eyes.
10. THE SYMBOL OF WHO KNOWS WHAT BUT IT’S CIRCULAR AND IT MEANS YOU’RE SPECIAL.
Back in the day, it was very common to communicate via symbols so it MAKES SENSE that this has translated to modern YA covers. Particularly circular ones. What do they mean? Probably…
If that doesn’t sum up most books, I don’t know what will, to be honest.
The REAL question you’re all obviously asking is, “If I was a YA book cover…what would I look like?” AND LUCKY FOR YOU, I AM HERE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION WITH A FABULOUS QUIZ.
It has a 100% success rate because no one’s ever tried it except me because I made it. And who can be doubtful of those stats? Simple take this quiz and I’ll tell you what you’d look like on the shelf. Feel free to shapeshift into a book at any time now. Good job. I support you.