“I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.” ― Virginia Woolf
- Jan 11
I've blogged about this before, but I've been paying much more attention to book cover design in the past year or so. Last month I read Lithub's 89 Best Book Covers of 2020. Aside from my wish that they'd just pushed it to a nice round number like 90, or better yet 100 since 89 seems so arbitrary and Buzzfeed-like (I acknowledge that this is a personal problem and I need to get over it) I got a kick out of looking at some of these. Scroll down a bit to see the complete list with visuals.
I started to try and post my favorite cover from the bunch, but that proved too difficult a choice. So instead (which is actually far more interesting than what I think) I thought I would link to a couple of videos I watched last year from Penguin Random House about book design. I don't really look at books the same way anymore. Covers are not at the forefront of my mind, but they do cross my mind in a more pronounced way than they did in the past. This is normal, though, and not unique to design: after learning something, it is difficult if not impossible to return to the way things were; to unlearn. And would we even want to?
As an aside, I'm also interested in how the same book often has multiple covers based on the country of distribution, the release of different editions, film adaptations, and a number of other reasons.