Tag: book design

Gatsby and My Hate for Movie Tie-In Covers

Posted May 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments


I had a little complaint about book covers changing a few days ago but now I feel the need to comment on something else cover related. Movie tie-in book covers are the worst thing out there, I know they help people recognise the book but they are just so ugly and should never be printed. The New York Times wrote an interesting article called Judging ‘Gatsby’ by Its Cover(s) in which they looked at the iconic Great Gatsby cover with the new movie cover.

Normally books go through different cover changes but when it comes to The Great Gatsby, the original cover is still the most recognised of all its covers. So when you see the movie tie-in cover it is a huge shock; do we really need a cover with Leonardo DiCaprio on it? The article is really interesting because it looks at how the original cover is out selling the movie tie-in and even an independent bookseller who refuses to sell the new cinematic edition. Saying “It’s just God-awful, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a pillar of American literature, and people don’t want it messed with. We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”

There is even a little quote by Ernest Hemingway who called the original cover “garish” and wrote in his memoir A Moveable Feast that he was “embarrassed by the violence, bad taste and slippery look of it.” But that is probably a whole new blog post, maybe two (one to look at the complex relationship of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway).

I know I hate movie tie-in covers and go out of my way to avoid them at all cost. I know most people hate them, you can read The Week complain about them, even Books on the Nightstand had a conversation about them recently. But I want to know if there are any good movie-tie in covers out there and what you think about them?

Why Change the Book Cover Design?

Posted May 7, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 8 Comments


This week, something that really annoyed me was the new paperback book cover for How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. The originally cover was gorgeous, nothing too elaborate but it really stood out now the new cover looks too much like it’s trying to be a self-help book. Which I get, it looks almost exactly the same as the famous book on economics Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki.  This got me thinking, why do they change the style of book designs, if they have something that works so well?

I’m sure there is a lot to do with marketing strategies and who owns the publishing rights for a book yet I still find myself annoyed. What is more annoying is when you see a book change cover designs halfway through a series. Are they just trying to make sure everyone has to go out and buy all the books again so they all match on the bookshelf? Good marketing strategy but that is just mean to the readers and book collectors out there. I have a series of books which I bought from a book website (which I will leave nameless) and when all the books came they were the same style but they are different heights, so it still looks weird on the book shelf. Sometimes book cover designers do things that really annoy me.

I’m sure there are many people out there that just don’t care that much about different covers or if the book is in hardback or paperback. For me, it is almost like they went out of their way to annoy me; I don’t think I’m OCD but little things like cover design and the different sizes of the books really set me off; especially when it’s on a bookshelf staring and teasing me all day long. How about you? Are there things that annoy you about book designs? Let me know in the comments below.