books and covers: why I eventually read ANNA

Probably one of the most cliché adages I could mention on this site, being a book blog, is:

Don't judge a book by its cover.

While this phrase is generally used in application to interpersonal relationships, I'd like to take a moment to examine its barebones meaning, as well: don't judge a book by its cover. I will admit that I am guilty of wandering idly through a bookshop, finger and eyes both trailing across a sea of spines and titles, and I tend to gravitate toward the aesthetically well done. Meaning, they have a nice design, well-chosen and placed typography. Sometimes a title can affect things, but personally the title is the last variable in the haphazard equation whose result ends in my either buying the book or leaving it on the shelf.

Occasionally I can bypass this by being intrigued enough to flip through and read the first chapter - it's my rule of thumb that if I go into a bookstore and leave with a book I didn't intend to buy, I read the first chapter there to see if I'm hooked - and if I like it, I pick it up. Otherwise if a friend has discussed the title on their blog, Twitter, or at work, I can circumvent ignoring a book that I might have never read of my own accord.

Why does this even matter? As many of you probably know by now, the new covers for Stephanie Perkins' books have been revealed and I find myself not-so-secretly pleased by the new look. For the longest time I held off on reading ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS on the basis of two factors: the pastel, curlicue font, and, in ANNA's case, its title. The ANNA I created in my head every time I looked at the book was far different than the reality that I know and adore. I couldn't get past it. And then I finally read the book, holed up under the covers during Hurricane Irene, and I got it. I loved this book, I love its characters. I understood its title and I was incredibly grateful for finally giving it the chance it deserved. 

Still, when it was announced not long ago that the series would be receiving a makeover I was part-thankful, part-hesitant. I believed that a cover change could be beneficial in helping draw in a crowd of readers that, unlike me, may not have a group of people surrounding them telling them to give it a chance. While I won't post the new covers for ANNA and LOLA, as EW has that exclusive, here is the similarly themed cover for LOLA from Goodreads:

It is everything I love. Simple, bold font choices. Even-spaced typography and a beautiful sky-colored ombre. The rose? Almost a harken back to the old design, most likely intrinsic (like the heart and star) to the main characters involved. The most important thing ANNA (and, perhaps more aptly, LOLA) taught me, though, was to look beyond the design. It is the words, the emotion bottled between sentences that make the story come to life. The cover is just the doorway to Narnia.

6 comments on "books and covers: why I eventually read ANNA"

Lisa wrote: Thu Feb 28, 11:37:00 AM

I admit that a lot of times a cover will get me to pick up a book or to look into it further. I won't necessarily buy a book because of it's cover, but an interesting cover will get me to look into the book further than one I'm not interested in.

We Heart YA wrote: Thu Feb 28, 02:39:00 PM

So glad you finally read and loved ANNA. :D

The new covers... well, we get it. They're nice, and they look great as a set, and we think they'll appeal to a different audience than the peeps who are already in love with Steph Perkins and her writing, so that's all good.

The only downside is that we feel the lightness and quirky cuteness of Steph Perkins's style is not reflected in these. We didn't LOVE the old covers either, but they FIT really well.

It's all good, though. Her books could be wrapped in toilet paper (unused!) and we'd still read 'em. ;D

Jenny wrote: Fri Mar 01, 10:38:00 PM

I'm not so sure I like the new covers. They look more like some chick lit book or something. But I'm just grouchy that they changed the covers mid series. I really hate that!

Mel@Thedailyprophecy wrote: Sat Mar 02, 04:04:00 PM

Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about the covers. I didn't love the old ones, I don't love the new ones. And I wasn't a huge fan of the book itself, haha :p


Chloe @ YA Booklover Blog wrote: Sun Mar 03, 09:12:00 AM

Although I'm a bit disappointed that my copies of Anna and Lola won't match Isla, I am glad that these new covers aren't so embarrassing to read in public :P I'm not thrilled with the new covers, but I still think they're an improvement!

And don't worry, you're definitely not the only one to judge a book by it's cover!

karen! wrote: Sun Mar 03, 04:11:00 PM

I've similarly avoided picking up _Anna and the French Kiss_ because of the combination of title and cover art (and there being five million other books to read), but I guess I should really give it a try.

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