Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Does the Cover Really Matter?

So as I was looking around Barnes & Noble the other day (you know, shopping for the book that would become my awesome GIVEAWAY prize), I noticed how a lot of classic books have like a zillion different covers and editions to choose from. I mean seriously! And you'd think because they are classics that they're all be pretty classicly-themed covers, right? Wrong. They're all over the place!

I'll give you an example of what I mean. Take a gander at just 8 of the possible covers for the undeniable classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte:

Let's go row by row, shall we?

The first is the actual version of the book that I own (so obviously that means it's the best). Pretty simple. I'm assuming this is the lovely (barf barf) Heathcliff's house all dimmed in the moonlight. Kind of haunting right? Eerie? I think that's a good enough cover.

Next is just a beautiful woman's face...I'm guessing Catherine? Well she is the female lead. But kind of a dull cover in my opinion but definitely a normal one for a classic book.

Moving on! UGH!!!! Does that seriously say Bella and Edward's favorite book in the upper corner? And it is all Twilighty. Yuck. Worst. Cover. Ever.

Last one on the top row: I'm assuming this is supposed to be the countryside that the novel takes place in but it is all too bright and cheery for this dark and depressing read. Bad call art department!

Next row...this reminds me of Persepolis for some reason. Anyone else? I like it because it's different and still has that eerie feeling to it. Not reading romance at all so that's a plus.

This next one is the only one I see that has both a man and woman on it, so it's nice that it includes Heathcliff, but it's not reading very dark and disturbing to me. Nice that the moors are involved though.

Almost done. This is very Tim Burton, yes? Which is a nice change of pace and I've seen this treatment on other classics as well but other then having fun with the cover I don't really see the point. It's still just a drawing of a woman. Oh wait, is there a little house in the background?

And last but...well yes least. What the heck is this? I mean seriously! Ferns? What is the point of this cover? Someone didn't feel like doing anything special with this one.

So what do you all think? Which one is your favorite cover? Lease favorite (let's leave out that fern one because otherwise I think this would be a pretty easy question to answer, haha). And can you believe I actually found TWO books that had covers that mentioned Edward and Bella? TWO!

14 comments:

Christie said...

Does that REALLY say "Bella and Edward's favourite book" on it? BLECH!!! D:

llevinso said...

It does Christie. It really really does :(

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

Least favorite? Well, aside from the one with ferns, it's definitely the Twilight-y cover. I mean, seriously, they're promoting a Bronte novel as Edward and Bella's favorite book? That's just great. Emily Bronte must be turning in her grave...

Wall-to-wall books said...

I kinda like the "Tim Burtony-ish" one! Your right it does look like his stuff! I also like the one top right only because I like books with scenery on them, LOL. Not being a Twilight fan, I think that is horrible that they would put that on the cover!!!
I guess the bottom left with the purple is OK too.
I have never read Withering Heights so...

Vee said...

I actually like the second-to-last one - I mean, it probably wouldn't convince me to buy it over a different book... I mean, it's a "classic"; I already have a preconceived notion about it, so the cover isn't going to change that. But I do like this one's quirky look.

I can't believe the third one mentions Twilight. How icky and strange (though to be fair I've never read Twilight). Are they hoping this inspires the Twi-hards to read Bronte? Heh! Other than that, though, I hate the cover with the ferns. What are you even trying to say to me, ferns?!?

Red said...

I thought I'd go for the Tim Burton-esque one by I like the one that reminded you of Persepolis. I don't really mind the big flower on the Twilight one, but the "Bella and Edward's favorite book" and Twilight font kill it for me.

llevinso said...

@Darlyn, I think that’s exactly what they’re doing. I mean, if it gets more teens to read great literature that’s great, but it still makes me gag.

@ W2W, Wuthering Heights is a good read, as long as you keep in mind that it’s NOT supposed to be romantic. I went in hearing it was a romance so I was really turned off and confused. But it’s a great psychological and depressing read.

@Vee, I wasn’t saying I didn’t like the Burton-esque one, I just think the artist was obviously trying to get a little too creative for no REAL reason, haha. And yeah, WTF is up with those ferns? Why?

@Red, yeah the Persepolis one is growing on me more and more. I think it captures the desperation of the book very well.

Jennifer O. said...

I've fallen in love with the Penguin Classics Reissue. They're actually pretty cheap on Amazon--around the 10-15 dollar vicinity and just gorgeous. I'd love to go out and buy myself a ton, but I'm on a budget and I've got too many free books coming in to justify buying more. *sigh*

bex said...

My favourite is one of the first two actually. Don't know which one though, perhaps the woman. Twilight or the Tim Burton one are the least favourite... Though I think the Twilighty one is just weird. Doesn't describe the story at all either... And why oh why, would they mention Twilight on it? Seriously. I'm guessing they've had lots of hardcore fans who's been asking for it after the series.

kellyhashway said...

Yeah, the first one is the best. Some of the others are just weird. The last one? What is that? Why do the publishers change covers like this? I like to be able to recognize a book by it's cover. This is just confusing.

Kimberly Kaye said...

WORST. COVER. EVER. IS RIGHT.

I just got the f-ing skeeves. "This book is wholeheartedly endorsed by a fake vampire and his fake girlfriend. Side note: Said fake vampire isn't even the cool kind of vicious vampire that tears virgins limb from limb and bursts into flames when hit by sunlight. Instead, his primary vampiric ability is to look emo and morose in public at any time of day while occasionally being an abusive boyfriend who bleaches his fangs with Crest Whitestrips."

Gross.

bex said...

LOL "Side note: Said fake vampire isn't even the cool kind of vicious vampire that tears virgins limb from limb and bursts into flames when hit by sunlight."

Nikki said...

Blech to the Twilight one, not just because of the cover itself, but I think it's pretty sad that we have to sell the classics to teenagers by saying "hey, your favorite fictional characters liked this, you should too!" I'm a new follower, I found you through Book Blogs. Love the name of your blog!

llevinso said...

Sorry I haven't had time to respond to everyone, I've been so busy getting my Giveaway ready and together (it's up, go take a look and enter!). But I'm glad this has elicited such a response! I'm planning on making more of these types of posts in the future :)

And welcome new followers! I hope you like the blog!