Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Covers I’d Love to Make Over



Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list the Top Ten Covers We’d like to Redesign.

I’m not a particularly visual person. A cover has to be really horrendous before it strikes my attention. But this year I have come across quite a large number of books with some truly bad covers. Some of them were bad because of the gaudy colors, or poor production values, or unimaginative/lazy cover art.

Here are a few covers that really beg for a do-over:

  1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling. I am convinced this book’s mixed reviews are all due to the cover and also the horrible title. The title probably makes sense in UK, but internationally (or at least, here in India), the title has no meaning whatsoever. And what a horrible gaudy red.
  2. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. This is not a badly designed cover as such, but the production values on my copy at least leave a lot to be desired. This is a Man Booker shortlist book, so why does the cover make it look like some random book pulled out from the seconds bin in a used bookstore?
  3. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. What’s up with the nudity on the cover? It’s a pretty image, I grant you that, but a naked woman seemingly brushing her teeth doesn’t convey anything about what the book is about.
  4. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I haven’t read the book, but that cover is beyond garish and seriously off-putting. Seriously, since when did graphic artists start putting such large doses of red and orange in their designs? I always thought that was a serious no-no.
  5. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. And who thought rats on covers were a good selling-point for books? The cover does suit the book, but I am not and never will be a rat person. I disliked this cover intensely, and didn’t even like holding the book to read. Another reason to switch to e-readers perhaps?
  6. All the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R.Martin. You knew I’d sneak these into this list somehow, didn’t you? Can’t help it, those covers are seriously unimaginative, and do a grave disservice to the books. Actually, the fonts, the maps, the overall packaging of the series is terrible. Maybe, newer editions will do it justice? I mean have you seen the covers and production values on the Harry Potter books? Why can’t the same effort be made for this series? I mean a book titled A Clash of Kings has a crown on the cover. You serious? I could do better than that! Anjana (who gifted me this book)…please no offense to you. Looks aren’t everything, right? I seriously loved this book and thanks so much for introducing me to this series.
  7. Jacob HIlls by Ismita Tandon Dhanker. A nice book that I almost passed on reading because of the horrible red-orange-green-blue cover. Truly hideous.

  8. And the prize for bad covers goes to Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. A book I never finished. I hated the book, and I came to hate the cover always taunting me from the bookshelf.

So, these are all the covers I can think of. Not quite ten, but that’s all right. What book covers would you do over?

  • The English Patient has a very bad cover…But then I did not appreciate the book much either…

    The Casual Vacancy cover is horrible as you said…I liked the other green cover of the ‘The Lowland’. That looked quite pleasant.

    • Nish

      @Elizabeth: I am expecting a review copy of The Lowland, I hope it’s the green cover. This one is horrible. I don’t know what was the idea behind The English Patient cover. It was aimless, and like you I didn’t much care for the book either.

  • Doris

    Great picks, never read any of those books!

    Check out Our TTT

    Doris @ OABR

  • That cover for The English Patient is so distracting.

  • The Casual Vacancy just seems so cheap and lazy. Like they picked the first one they came across!

    My TTT

    • Nish

      @Angelique: I know, that cover annoys me so much. It’s something I would have done to scrape through a graphic arts class. It’s not like they didn’t have the budget to do something nice for the book.

%d bloggers like this: