My Pet Peeves With Book Covers

Hello there! I’ve once again completely disappeared (and completely ignored everything that happened i’m sorry) in favor of post exam mindless tv watching as I eat possibly unhealthy amounts of ice cream. It’s a thing okay. A very necessary thing. All that aside, now that I have time for more than school, I’ll probably be way more active so yay!

Onto what this post is actually about. Book covers. The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is going to be completely ignored for the duration of this post, fair warning. Because honestly, books are highly judged by their covers, and judging their covers is essentially the entire point for this post! They can be great! They can be stunning, breathtaking, compelling you to buy a book you’ve just laid eyes on for the first time because of how gorgeous and intriguing the cover art is. Or, they can be terrible, leading you away from a potentially amazing book. And since I’m clearly super optimistic, I’m here to discuss the latter!

I’d like to start off strong and discuss my absolute loathing for live action book covers.

This one, for instance. This vendetta isn’t due to the models in particular. In fact it’s pretty much everything else. First, the idea of having real people on book covers is rarely (if ever) done right, and I’d much prefer to see drawn art, leaving more room for the reader to envision characters. In the case of this one, and in many as it is a common theme, it’s just very poorly edited. The books, the background, and almost everything is obviously plastered onto the cover, and fits strangely into the surroundings. The (assumedly) pen in the book is bent, for another thing, which…makes no sense. That is fairly nitpicky though. It’s actually a very similar situation with the cover for Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns. The concept of it is very cool, and would fit the story, however it once again just looks so obviously edited (and I’m also not a fan of the way the colors work together) and I despise that. The paperback version however, is much better.

Overall ratings:

Would I still buy it? Eh. I guess. I’d look for a different version of the cover first (preferably without real people on it, but generally anything that looks better.) and purchase that instead. If I can’t find a better version, depending on how much I care about the book, I’ll buy it. I don’t adore the look, but in the end the purpose is the content inside. And if that’s bad too, then no, I’d have no need for it. If I hadn’t read the book however, it would be more likely that I wouldn’t give it a second glance if I really didn’t like the cover.

How much does it ruin the cover? ⭐⭐⭐2.5-3 stars. It wouldn’t completely make me decide to never buy a book, but it’s definitely less appealing.

As much as I despise live action covers, nothing. Is worse. Than having an absolutely stunning cover gone the second a book gets a live action adaptation. If you don’t know what I mean, lets take a look at one of my least favorite cover changes.

Gorgeous, perfect, lovely, amazing symbolism! It’s a great cover, and it’s definitely high in my rankings. BUT THEN.

LOOK. I GET THAT THERE WAS A MOVIE. I GET THAT IT WAS A BIG DEAL. FINE! BUT WHY MUST YOU RUIN THE COVER?! ESPECIALLY A NICE COVER!!! I will forever be bitter about this. And it’s not just this, it’s happened so. many. times. with so. many. different books, and I’m done with it. NOT TO MENTION ADDING AN UNREMOVABLE STICKER TO IT! But that gets its own section of complaints.

Overall ratings:

Would I still buy it? …okay so hear me out. I would look for the original version, and if I can’t find it… well. How attached am I to the book… Because I really would prefer to not buy a book with a cover I get irrationally angry at for existing. But, if I really do love the book then it’s necessary.

How much does it ruin the cover? ⭐⭐⭐⭐3.5-4 stars. This happening to book covers does genuinely annoy me and I absolutely despise it. However, it’s fairly situational. I’ve always seen the cover get at least a little bit worse (and I hope this never happens with the Legendborn Cycle because those covers are stunning and I will fight for their existence), but it can range all the way to completely destroying the cover. Just because this has happened to so many perfect covers, I’ll give it a higher star ranking. Which means it’s worse… yeah this system is flawed.

Unremovable/hard to remove stickers are incredibly annoying.

A fairly well known example of this, is with The Love Hypothesis and its “the tiktok sensation!” sticker.

Lots of people hated the sticker, mainly for the reason that you couldn’t take it off and it took away from the cover. In my opinion, it’s more of a minor annoyance, however I can definitely understand where people are coming from. I personally despise hard to remove stickers more, mainly due to the fact that removing them is not only time consuming, but leaves behind a sticky residue. In a lot of cases, that area will get dirt stuck to it, and mess up the cover.

Overall ratings:

Would I still buy it? Definitely. It’s kind of annoying, but it feels insignificant enough to be ignorable.

How much does it ruin the cover? ⭐0.5 stars. I’m really not too bothered by this, and it doesn’t take up too much cover space. While it is annoying, I’m pretty much okay with it so I don’t mind much.

Can someone please explain the relevance of having paperback covers that don’t completely cover the book? As in:

This really shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, but that’s why it counts as a pet peeve. The entire concept feels so unnecessary, and I don’t like the look of it at all. It kind of feels like it takes away from the covers in a way, but perhaps that’s just me being nitpicky. Compared to the other items on this list, this doesn’t bother me much??

Overall ratings:

Would I still buy it? Yes, (obviously) because while it is annoying, it’s not worth sacrificing the whole book over. It doesn’t take away much from the overall aesthetics, and it’s insignificant enough to not make me question my decision to buy a book.

How much does it ruin the cover? ⭐ 1 star. It’s not super annoying but I guess my question is mainly just… why.

I was considering adding covers that did too much to this list, however since I don’t exactly dislike them?? I decided against it. Personal issues with book covers? Agree/Disagree with any of these? Anything else you’d want to add? Let’s chat in the comments!


21 thoughts on “My Pet Peeves With Book Covers

  1. Ugh, the live action cover for Five Feet Apart is so bad! I mean, the actors are great and all, but the cover looks so bland. I love the artwork of the original cover, with the lungs symbolism; I don’t know why they had to replace it with a picture.
    The stickers are so annoying! They’re impossible to take off and they leave the sticky residue behind. I remember someone telling me that if you heat the cover for a little, with a blow dryer, the sticker should come off easier.
    Loved the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hate it so much. I agree, the overall look to it almost seems… sterile in a way?? The symbolism was perfection, and I hate that they ruined it.
      I completely agree, the amount of times the residue has messed up covers for me has gotten way too high. Ty for the tip, I just wish I’d known it sooner 😂
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your post, but I am in the other camp. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of unsatisfying covers out there, but I prefer models to graphics. But the details need to be part of the set, not photo shopped in because it stands out too much. I don’t like a lot of wide-open space so I prefer close ups. The graphic covers can be pretty, but I find most of them cartoonish, taking away from the adult material inside. I understand you seeing some symbolism in the covers, but it is not for me. I can state that I am more of a blurb person than a cover person, and truly hate it when the book does not live up to the blurb.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can see where you’re coming from with that. Some covers can be too cartoony and just don’t fit the book, so I think it really just depends on the content. The cover should match the book and be able to give the reader a hint towards what’s inside. I completely agree on the blurb thing however, it’s so unsatisfying when a book falls short of your expectations, especially one you were excited for because of the blurb.
      Thank you for reading!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Admittedly, yesterday I did not pay too much attention to book covers. However, after reading your post I realized that it is quite important and should entice the reader to buy the book. It’s what the person browsing sees first. I certainly look at the cover. I think your post was spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. live action book covers are hideous and they bother me so much?? AND YES UNREMOVABLE STICKERS ARE VERY ANNOYING AND WHY DO THEY EXIST 😭😭


  4. SHHH dont worry!! we hold unhealthy amounts of post-exam ice cream eating in very high regard in this household. (ALTHOUGH I SUGGEST YOU DONT TELL THAT TO THE REST OF THE WORLD BECAUSE THEY’RE APPARENTLY VERY BACKWARDS AND DONT BELIEVE IT TO BE SO. i knoooow. it’s sad) BUT AM SO SO GLAD TO SEE YOUR POSTS AGAIN I MISSED THEM!! 😭

    i dont particularly hate live action book covers, BUT POORLY EDITED ONES ARE PROBABLY THE END POINT. except its also hilarious sometimes. when you notice unfortunate occurences such as bent pens. 10/10 FOR HILARITY PURPOSES.

    also DUUUUDE the cover change for five feet apart is UGLY, I AGREE. which, you know, is made pretty considerably worse by the fact that THE PREVIOUS ONE WAS SO GORGEOUS?? HOW DARE THEY. but also stickers are terrible too. LIKE, DUDE WHAT IF I WANT TO LOOK AT WHAT THE STICKER HID?? WHAT THEN?

    if i had to choose though, the too-small covers would definitely top the annoyance chart. THIS ONE TIME I GOT A BOOK WITH A TOO SMALL COVER AND WORRIED FOR DAYS OVER WHETHER I’D ACCIDENTALLY GOTTEN A CUT-OFF ONE. smol anoushka never understood the kinds of things the publishing houses did to covers in the name of style

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ice cream is the superior post exam food and I will defend that until I die. ALSO TY I MISSED POSTING BUT SCHOOL IS UNFORTUNATELY IMPORTANT 😭😭

      Okay that’s fair, it was pretty funny to see the bent pen, so that’s a valid point. BUT THE BAD EDITING IS SO PAINFUL BECAUSE PROFESSIONALS WORK ON THEM HOW IS IT STILL MESSED UP.

      THE COVER CHANGE WAS SO UNNECESSARY WHYYYYYYYYY. I’M NOT OVER IT, THE OG COVER WAS PERFECTION AND DESERVED BETTER. Also yeah, what’re they trying to hide with the unremovable stickers? What’s truly underneath them?…wait now I’m curious.

      OKAY BUT I LOVE THAT?? bro I still don’t understand the style just…why. it feels so unnecessary. Thanks for reading!!


  5. From a fellow disappearer who has only just returned to WordPress after an utterly exhausting exam season (although I had to do the grading, not the writing 😁) – I AGREE WITH YOU ON EVERYTHING!! Covers with real people, especially if they’re movie-tie in editions, are the absolute WORST, and then they often also come with those horrid unpeelable stickers! And who first came up with the idea to not let a book’s cover go all the way to the book’s edge, huh? 😤😤😤

    I’m also incredibly stingy, though, so I usually buy the cheapest edition of a book, even if it’s ugly 😅 After all, it’s the story that matters! But if I see an ugly cover in a bookstore and have never heard of the book before, chances are that I probably won’t reach for it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exams were not fun (but I scored really well so yay!!) but at least we can reappear now?? THE MOVIE TIE IN EDITIONS ARE SO PAINFUL BECAUSE THEY RUIN SUCH NICE COVERS. IT NEEDS TO STOP. IT’S NEVER BEEN GOOD. Unpeelable stickers are quite annoying, and why would that idea even exist?? What’s the need for it?? If it was stylistic…I don’t get it.

      Same, hence my purchase of American Panda’s paperback (had to save those two dollars) and my general affinity towards paperbacks. In some cases the covers are better?? With Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns, for example, the paperback has a significantly better cover. I agree, covers make me feel more inclined to check out a book, so an ugly one just ruins it for me. Thanks for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok but the first important question I have is of course your favourite flavour of ice cream? Lmao I was gonna say the paperback edition or I guess international cover for American Panda, is very cute and I love it a lot more! That one looks odd, the more you study it the more you’re like no it’s not right xD I’m cackling, oh the pain of books being adapted and immediately they bring out a new cover which ties into the film. Like yes, we get it it was made into a movie or series, let us keep the original cover pls. Oh and don’t print on those awful circles to let us know about the movie or let us know about it being a sensation on some social media. Like ok that’s lovely, why is it printed onto the book like at least let us have the chance to pick the battle of removing it.

    Oh I think the paperbacks where they don’t fully cover them are called step backs? One of my blogging friends collects step backs for her romance books because they usually have a pretty picture inside. I’m not sure though if that’s the proper name for those ones you shared though.

    I loved this post Amaya and I hope your exams went well! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hmm i’d say cookies and cream lol. u??
      I agree with that completely, it’s much nicer than the cover I have (and has no bent pens which is always lovely)
      Exactly because at first I was like hmm something doesn’t look right…and then I realized nothing looked right…
      Literally!! I’m aware that it’s a movie or that it’s popular, I don’t need that advertised permanently on a cover. Or worse, changing the cover because it just ends up being ugly.

      Ohhh see that could make sense but the ones I’ve come into contact with have no pretty pictures in them?? So now I’m just forever disappointed?? If they did, I’d get why they existed.

      Tysm!! My studying actually paid off and they all went almost perfectly so that was a great surprise!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s