Let us leave aside the cliché of not judging a book by its cover. The cover of a book is so much more profound than we give it credit for. Sure, we won’t judge it negatively, but there are some books you see in the store and make your mind to buy without reading even the synopsis. And we, for one, cannot blame you. Covers do more than hide what’s inside; covers can hold the keys to solve a mystery, spoilers to pad a heartbreak and a message that can be understood only when the last word of the book is read. There have been some books whose covers (and content) we keep going back to, and we’re here to tell you why.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Set during the time of World War II and revolving around two protagonists: a blind French girl and a German orphan, this masterpiece by Anthony Doerr is as hauntingly beautiful as its cover. On the cover sits Saint Malo, the place where Marie-Laurie and her father have fled to with possibly the world’s most precious gem. This is where the paths of the two protagonists will cross, one sacrificing his life so that the other can live to be old.
The Little Prince by Antonie de Saint-Exupery
Le Petit Prince or The Little Prince might seem like a children’s book at first glance but once the reader decides to block the judgement and be present as the story unfurls, they might find it to be not childish but one of the most mature books they’ve ever read. The cover was designed by the author himself, which he gave to his friend, along with the manuscript, before leaving for war in 1941. Both light and dark versions of the cover are available now – the little prince can be seen on it, standing on and among celestial objects.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (Macmillan Publishers)
Even though all covers and illustrations of the Call of the Wild leave us breathless, the edition by Macmillan publishers steals the show, for it showcases Buck in all his glory. This book tells the story of a kidnapped house-dog and how he is turned into a working travel dog owing to the Gold Rush that happened in the 1890s. On the cover, Buck is represented as a wolf, the call eminent in the illustration.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Goldfinch has won the Pulitzer prize for its astounding plot and character exploration. Told in first person narrative, the crux of the plot is a painting, The Goldfinch, which the protagonist steals as a child. Although the author had asked the cover designer to not reveal the famous Goldfinch painting from the 1600s, how the artist played with the piece convinced the author to agree to the cover!
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass has some of the most surreal poems America will ever witness. Transcendentalist poet Walt Whitman, in the first edition of this masterpiece, did not mention his name at all. For this reason, this book stands out from all the poetry books we have read.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you
The authoritative tone of the lyrics presses the identity of the author even when his name is absent; the green cover delivers the message of the speciality of each leaf of grass.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Plath’s only novel, semi-autobiographical in nature, explores the concept of social acceptability and socially acceptable identity. Dealing with the psychological working of the protagonist, the novel also explores mental illness and general mental health. The cover of the book can be interpreted in many ways, the most accurate understanding of which holds to be the dreamy, almost hypnotic effect the book, and mental instability can have on a person.
Do you own any of these beauties? Tell us below!
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