I said this year I wanted to branch out a little more, so today I’m posting a bit of a rant (something totally new to me!), on the one thing about covers that will put me off buying a book. Warnings for book snobbery and rantiness (which is totally a word).
As I’m on a gap year, saving up for my MSc, my book budget is pretty small. Recently though, I had a WHSmith voucher, so I went wandering in, browsing with intent. I was there with my boyfriend, (who’s a reader without being obsessive in the way that we book bloggers are), and while we were there, we spotted the new Game of Thrones covers. We’re discussing how they compare to the old covers etc, when my partner spotted the ‘sticker-like’ label “The books that inspired the TV phenomenon – Game of Thrones”.
You see, it’s not a sticker, it just looks like one, and it’s a serious pet hate of his that’s rubbed off on me severely.
Perfect covers – simple but gorgeous and they have a real impact. Not a sticker in sight! (Although, maybe this also shows a serious love for HarperVoyager)
I’ve never really been a huge cover junkie, and my favourite covers are usually the simple but gorgeous ones, like those above. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve started paying a little more attention to covers, but aside from aiming for vaguely matching covers, a cover has never affected my book buying habits, or put me off buying a book…until now.
See, my partner hates these ‘Now a major film’ etc stickers. Like, hates them with a passion. A very vocal passion. And once he started pointing them out, I couldn’t help noticing them either, and somewhere in the last five years of him complaining about them, it’s become one of my own pet hates. He’s right, they are annoying. I can understand they’re there to draw attention from people who’ve seen the film or show, but at the same time, WE KNOW the books are now a film or tv show, because we’re fans of the books – and the book came first.
My partner hates them because they’re ugly, and the fact that they look like stickers but aren’t drives some part of his brain strangely crazy. I think my issue is more like book snobbery, and I don’t mind admitting that to my fellow book bloggers!
Take The Mortal Instruments series for example – they now have these fake stickers on about the film. And they’re not small either! I read Matt’s copies of the first three books years ago, before we even left school, but when I went to buy books four and five, and they had those stickers on, it genuinely put me off.
- The first three don’t have them, so if you put all five together it’d look frustrating
- The stickers are ugly and annoying
- (and the book snobby part) I hate the fact that anyone looking at the book will assume I bought the book BECAUSE of the movie.
Offending covers – see the ugly black stickers?! (Look at that gorgeous photo on A storm of Swords Part 2, interrupted by what looks like a sticker that’s been stuck on randomly)
Similarly, it would (let’s be honest, it probably will) drive me crazy to buy a copy of The Winds of Winter only for it to have one of those stickers on. As a serious reader and geek, I love knowing that I read the book before it turned into a crazy phenomenon, and I feel like these stickers say I’m part of the other side, the side who read the books after seeing the show or the film. (Which there’s absolutely nothing wrong with, sometimes I AM that side, I just don’t want to look like it when I’m not!)
The book snobbery definitely isn’t the only problem though, because this copy of Dead Until Dark doesn’t bother me half as much as the stickered covers above, even though it clearly references the TV show. I think it’s because the TV mention blends into the cover, rather than sticking out and interrupting the look of the cover. It also wouldn’t make my partner try and peel off a non-existent sticker everytime he looked at it which is also good…
Do you agree with my opinion on the covers? (Or do you think I’ve finally lost it?!) What puts you off buying a book?