Let’s Talk Bookish 2/12 – beauty is in the eye of the book-holder

Hello, lovelies! Very excited to be trying out this new weekly meme, Let’s Talk Bookish, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where bloggers get to talk about all sorts of bookish topics and (hopefully) open up some interesting dialogue! This week’s prompt includes a couple questions centered around the larger topic: What makes a book beautiful? I’m going to address each of the sub-questions individually, so let’s get started!

It’s impossible not to sometimes judge a book by its cover–what makes a book beautiful to you?

It’s really hard to say–I don’t have one specific type of cover that I gravitate to more than others, you know? I think the biggest contributors to cover beauty are the art style, the color scheme (I tend to prefer intense jewel-tones or otherwise dramatic coloring), and how much you can learn from the cover. Like, the level of detail in a cover can speak volumes; I tend to not like simple covers as much as intricate ones. There are simple illustrated covers that are cute, but in terms of beautiful? Those need more detail. Also worth noting, I tend to like fantasy covers more than other genres, even if other genres may be equally good in their contents. The fantasy covers just stand out more!

Are there certain covers you’re drawn towards, and certain styles you stay away from?

For covers I’m drawn towards, one weirdly specific thing I love is when a book has black birds on the cover. Ravens, crows, magpies, whatever–I think favorites of mine like the Six of Crows duology and The Raven Cycle have conditioned me to just really, really like that. As I wrote the rest of this post, I also realized I really like books that have fire on the cover, I guess? And water, and stars, when stylized in a pretty way, are nice.

I’m also a sucker for covers with intricate designs, like flowers or fancy patterns, but that have more images hidden within those patterns–think the UK Nevernight covers, which are animals with all sorts of other items inside the picture like knives and books and snakes (and more black birds!!), or King of Scars, which looks like a royal crest but also has monstrous gouges in it, a ship in the corner, a dragon, and more. The details make the design.

In terms of things I stay away from, I’m usually not a fan of books with people on the cover, especially when those people are photorealistic. Books with just illustrated people are fine, but still don’t always win me over. I’m getting a little burned out on Charlie Bowater covers, too–yes, she is a talented artist, but a lot of her character illustrations start to look the same, regardless of how unique the rest of the cover is.

What are some of the most beautiful covers you’ve seen?

Above, I mentioned The Raven Cycle (I think The Raven King is especially lovely), the UK Nevernight ones (Darkdawn is pictured here), and King of Scars, all of which I would put in the “beautiful covers” class.

A couple others I love are The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Crier’s War, The Shadows Between Us, The Monarchs (I know almost nothing about the book but omg that cover is so cool), Fable (a rare exception to my “I hate people” thing, maybe because it does have hidden designs as well, with the ship inside her eye?), The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice, Fireborne (the new covers), Spin the Dawn, Ashlords, Foundryside, When the Stars Lead to You, and House of Salt and Sorrows. Whew, that’s a lot!

What about you? What are some of your favorite pretty covers? Any favorites in here, or any from here that you now want to check out? Leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time,

Kathryn (“K-Specks”)

3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish 2/12 – beauty is in the eye of the book-holder

  1. Zezee February 12, 2021 / 3:22 pm

    I’m drawn to different styles, but I’m also not much of a fan of people on the cover. The Raven Cycle covers are some of my favs, and also the Nevernight ones because I’m a fan of the illustrator. His work is always neat and intricate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani @ Literary Lion February 16, 2021 / 1:15 pm

    I am stunned by every cover you shared, especially the Darkdawn one! I definitely agree with most of your explanations – I haven’t seen anyone say they like photography covers.

    Liked by 1 person

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