Feb 28, 2008

judging a book by its cover


I'm adding a new link to my short list there on the right. Caustic Cover Critic is a blog about, well, covers. Their layout, the pictures chosen, different versions - you know what I mean. Except in a few truly catching cases, this isn't something I'd spent a lot of time thinking about previously (aside from occational laughter at truly inappropriate sf and fantasy cover designs that have nothing to do with the story). With this project, however, I'm picking up a lot more classic sf and old school paperbacks than I usually would in so short a time.

Even books not on the list, such as this collection of short stories by Boulle, are starting to become just a little too tempting to pass up. These days, it seems like you slap a picture of a guy with a futuristic gun or a promo shot from the movie-based-loosely-on-the-book on there and call it a day. But some of the paperbacks I pick up that came out in the early and mid 20th century are emblazoned with strange figures, streaked colors, odd little geometric designs. They weren't out to tell you what you'd literally find, they were out to draw you into the grand What If.

Anyway, it's something I'm paying more attention to these days.

4 comments:

Leila said...

The bookstore had about ten copies of LotF with the regular green cover with the kid's face on it. I liked the one I gave you more. It makes me happy when there's more than one cover to choose from. I prefer the older, stranger ones.

downtown guy said...

That makes it an even more awesome present. I was looking at it this week, and Taylor saw it from across the room and said, "That looks like an abortion." Considering the book itself, I thought that was an interesting way to see the design, even by accident.

JRSM said...

Hi there: thanks for adding Caustic Cover Critic to your links. I hope the erratic series on end-of-the-world books might be your sort of thing.

downtown guy said...

That's how I found you, I think, and then I found myself very interested in reading your thoughts on cover design. Thanks for blogging.