Weekly Geeks: 2009-05 – Judge a Book by its Cover!

This week it’s all about judging books by their covers! Pick a book–any book, really–and search out multiple book cover images for that book. They could span a decade or two (or more)…Or they could span several countries. Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?

Two of my most favorite books of all time are John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. I could not decide which book to use for this week’s post, so I decided I would just pick both!

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

This is my favorite cover because of the cleanliness of design, typography and layout. And it doesn’t have the garish “Oprah” endorsement, which just destroys the book cover design for me. (I bought this edition when it came out several years ago. It did have the red Oprah label on it but the good thing was it can easily be taken it off and thrown away because it was just a piece of paper wrapped around the book.)

This is my least favorite cover because it’s so bland. It doesn’t evoke any feeling or desire to read the book. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I just don’t get it.

This book cover best captures what East of Eden is all about. If you’ve read it, you’ll see the meaning—both literally and figuratively.


The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This is my favorite cover. I love how Ken Follett’s name looks like it’s engraved on stone. The image of Medieval men constructing the cathedral is beautiful, too. Just looking at the cover, I know that it’s a historical novel, unlike the other ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ covers…like the one below.

Looking at the cover you’d think that it was another Follett suspense novel and not a historical masterpiece. The first time I saw this book with this cover at the bookstore several years ago, I thought it was set in the present time because of the image used. This is definitely my least favorite. Sure there’s a cathedral on the cover, but it missed the mark.

This is one of my favorite covers too. For me, this latest edition best captures what ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ is all about.  Combining the cover design with the weight of the book in your hands, you know that what you have before you is a historical, majestic, and sweeping masterpiece.


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7 Responses

  1. My gosh, Patti, how’d you find all these covers? You really are a geek.:)

    Great post, by the way!

  2. Haha, I should do this for the HP international editions in my collection…

  3. For the first set of each book, I found them on Google. I had to go through more than 30 pages for each. Finally another weekly geek mentioned that it would be so much easier if I just used LibraryThing—he was right! The pics on the second set I found on LT.

    I am geek, hear me roar!

  4. Blooey, use LibraryThing! I just checked out the HP titles and LT has a LOT of different book cover designs. 🙂

  5. My goodness there are so many covers! You did a great job picking books to highlight. I really enjoyed looking at all of those covers and I will keep your cover selection in mind when I read East of Eden (someday/ASAP)

  6. Thanks, Angela! I love East of Eden and have read it several times. Some people prefer The Grapes of Wrath over East of Eden, but I agree with Mr. Steinbeck himself when he said the latter was his masterpiece. 🙂

  7. […] for this fxcindgnoerruckingg great book myself, but there are many more thumbnails to be had at bookmoochgirl.wordpress.com Categories Select Category art book childhood color etc film food how to… mantimacy […]

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