Books, Reading, Top Ten Tuesday
Comments 40

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 book covers I like to look at.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

It’s been f o r e v e r  since I did a Top Ten Tuesday post. This is mainly due to me being busy, but also I can never think of appropriate books for each category. But this week’s an easy one – it’s a freebie!

Since moving house recently, I’ve set up (and filled) two big bookshelves, dragging out of boxes some books that I haven’t unpacked from a move I did about seven years ago. It was great to see all these books again, look at their covers, and remember how great or mediocre they were. So that was my inspiration for this post – 10 book covers I like to look at. Here they are in no particular order:

The Secret Pilgrim by John le Carré.

I’ll get my fangirling out of the way early in this post. The Secret Pilgrim is the last of a series of books featuring perhaps my favourite literary character, George Smiley. I don’t think the cover is really anything special in terms of being eye-catching and being a standout on the shelf. But for those of us who’ve stuck with Smiley through thick and thin, this cover just is George Smiley – the owlish glasses especially. One of his favourite things to do is clean is glasses with the fat end of his tie, and this cover makes me think of that. I’m very fond of this book.

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood.

Ok, you really need to have read this book to get the full significance of this cover (and look at it in bigger size – click it so you can see all the detail). At first glance, it’s very beautiful – flowers and a rabbit which, when combined with the title, make the reader think of nature, while the pink maybe suggests that it’s a nice book. On closer inspection you’ll see some keys, a padlock and chain, a trap of some kind, and a knife. It isn’t until you read that you’ll understand what these things mean and how one glance at this cover is incredibly deceptive.

The Art of Reading by Damon Young.

If I had to have a number one on this list, then The Art of Reading would probably be it. What can I say about it? It’s simple, cute, and looks exactly like what a book about reading should look like. The book itself is quite small as well, so it feels cosy in your hands and while I don’t usually like green, I do love looking at this cover.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

I look at this and just want to go swash some buckles. Seriously. I’ve been a fan of the film since I was teeny tiny – it’s one of the few films I actually recall watching frequently during my childhood (that and all the Ernest movies, and Santa Claus: The Movie starring Dudley Moore) (Santa Claus got watched plenty of times even when it wasn’t Christmas). But I’ve never read the book by William Goldman, so I’m really excited to take it off my shelf and immerse myself in it. One day.

Rosetta by Alexandra Joel.

The only reason I really bought this book is because of how stupidly beautiful the cover is. Like, I want to get a big copy of it and frame it as a piece of art. I haven’t read the book yet, so I don’t know if the cover actually has anything to do with the story, or if it’s just to get suckers like me interested (mission accomplished if so), but it’s a true story about a “scandalous” Australian woman in the early 1900s, so obviously I’m kind of looking forward to finding out.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This is the description of my edition from Goodreads: “this stunning gift edition has a full cloth binding, foil blocking on the spine, ribbon marker, and is packaged neatly in an elegant slipcase.” Doesn’t that just sound like the most amazing thing ever? I’m really excited to get started on this in the distant future, but for now it sits on my shelf looking as elegant as all hell, and still sealed in the plastic wrap it arrived in. That’s right, I haven’t even flicked through it or stroked the fabric cover yet. Abominable, I know.

The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox.

If you’re like me, you probably look at this cover and think Mad Men, specifically everyone’s favourite ladies man Donald Draper. This is funny because the man who is depicted on the cover of The Wonder Lover is about as far away from Don Draper as you can get. And although this cover tells you a little about what you might get in the book, the reason for these happenings are not at all what you would be imagining.

WindintheWillowsThe Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

I haven’t read The Wind in the Willows for a really long time. I do, however, watch the film adaptation done by the Monty Python guys whenever it’s on tv. Terry Jones is pretty much perfect as Toad, same goes for Eric Idle as Rat, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a bit of a crush on Steve Coogan as Mole (a crush that continues to this day because how amazing is his voice?). Anyway. I’m pretty sure my paperback copy of this book is floating around at my mum’s house, but a couple of years ago I picked up this beautiful hardcover illustrated edition – with slipcase – from The Folio Society. You can see how beautiful it is in more detail here, but pictures really don’t do it justice. It’s divine (also, be careful not to fall into the black hole that is The Folio Society website – you may never escape).

My copy of 'The Miniaturist'The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

This edition I have of The Miniaturist is pretty much perfect aesthetically (the story was good, but not as amazing as I’d hoped). It’s a hardcover, which I don’t always like to read, but it’s a pretty comfortable sized book to hold, so it doesn’t bother me that much. The illustration on the dust jacket is really beautiful to look at though and is perfectly complemented by the blue page edges. And then there are the end papers, which are very similar to the floral patterned wall paper that’s on the cover. So pretty.

harry-potter-and-the-philosopher-s-stoneHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (illustrated) by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

 Do I really need to go into detail with this one? Just look at it. It’s perfect. I think it perfectly captures those first few moments that Harry experiences on Platform 9¾, and the cover does a great job of getting the reader excited for what’s on the inside of the book. The illustrations are so beautiful and reading it for the first time was not unlike reading the unillustrated version for the first time.


  1. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 underrated books I love. | Bits & Books

  2. kirstyiswriting says

    Great post!

    I prefer the American version of the Natural Way of Things cover. So beautiful.


    • They’re both fabric covers, so they’re perfect for stroking lovingly (not that I’ve stroked the Holmes one…yet).


  3. OH, that Harry Potter cover. WOW. I’ve loved it since I first saw it, and I can’t wait for the Chamber of Secrets illustrated book to hit shelves!

    Lovely post idea!


  4. What a fun idea; I think I’ll write this down for later use.

    I wonder how much of our enjoyment of a book is related to our opinion of the cover?


    • I think there’s a definite connection. I think that, subconsciously, if we like the look of a books exterior then we’re likely to have a more positive opinion going into it – but that can also be detrimental because maybe it’ll let us down. While the reverse might be true for a book cover we don’t like. I bet there’s a study on it somewhere – there’s a study for everything these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely want to read The Princess Bride before the end of the summer! I watched the movie for the first time this past spring and now I’m obsessed. Ugh, it’s so good!! 🙂


    • Good thing I read your post about watching films before I saw this comment, because I was going to write something about it being inconceivable that you’ve never watched it. Apparently the book by Cary Elwes (called “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride”) is VERY good as well. And I think the audiobook version of it is narrated by Elwes which would obviously be the most excellent of all things.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Also, I replaced nearly all of my F. Scott Fitzgerald collection with a beautiful cloth-covered series – couldn’t resist the covers.


    • I’ve seen some really nice Fitzgerald editions lately – the covers are mostly white with what looks like geometric prints on them in foil. Are they the ones you have? (I’ve probably done a terribly job of describing them.) I don’t love Fitzgerald, but I want those editions so badly because they are very beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent choice of topic! Your copy of The Miniaturist is gorgeous. Haven’t come across Rosetta but like you, would buy it based on the cover alone.


  8. Literary Feline says

    What a great topic! I will have to put this one in my back pocket to use later. 🙂 I love the covers you’ve chosen. I can see why you like them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sherlock Holmes is forever a good pick! I’ve not read the books, but I love the character and all of the TV shows, films, etc. that are about the great detective. 🙂


    • I’ve only read one of the books (A Study in Scarlet, which I think is the first one), but I love all the screen adaptations too – they’re all so clever. Good source material helps I suppose!


  10. Emma The Book Lover says

    The Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter is just so pretty ahhh


Write Your Thoughts Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s