Book covers (and Penguins)

Franny

A clear example of a book that refuses to be judged by it’s cover – Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

Today, I thought, I’m going to write a blog post about book covers. So I wandered around the shop looking for nice examples and took a few some pictures. It was only when I sat down at the keyboard that I realised that all my examples were Penguin books. There is, of course, a reason for this and part of it is the great work that [penguin do with their book covers but another part of it is how influential Penguin have been on how we view books and their covers. The old maxim about judgement based on exteriors is undone by the wilfully obscure covers of most Penguin books. Leaving aside the traditional three-stripe design, the illustrations on the covers offer only a vague idea of what might be inside. This comes in stark contrast to a lot of recently published books that are so keen to fit into a genre they all look identical (the 50 Shades copycats come to mind as do the Overcoming Adversity books).

This childlike illustration hints at the book's humour but not its lyrical density nor its more serious subjects - Menagerie Manor by Gerald Durrell

This childlike illustration hints at the book’s humour but not its lyrical density nor its more serious subjects – Menagerie Manor by Gerald Durrell

The Great Journeys series, worth seeing all together (this is a small selection) for the similarity in the designs but the differences which hint at the content

The Great Journeys series, worth seeing all together (this is a small selection) for the similarity in the designs but the differences which hint at the content

The best of the lot, a whimsical traffic light arrangement (all on red or amber to suggest stagnation) for what is presumably quite a serious book - The Stagnant Society by Michael Shanks

The best of the lot, a whimsical traffic light arrangement (all on red or amber to suggest stagnation) for what is presumably quite a serious book – The Stagnant Society by Michael Shanks

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