Judging Books By Their Covers (and Page Edges)

I’m terrible for judging books by their covers. It’s precisely how I make my first decision about whether or not I’m going to enjoy them.

This technique may have been around for ages, but it was new to me on Saturday. It’s using coloured page edges on paperbacks. The first one I saw was this, with jet black pages:

Jet Black Pages

It looked quite lovely with the deep red and gold. And when you turn it edge on it’s such a deep powdery black that it almost removes light. It’s a really nice effect.

Jet Black Pages

Then I came across this blue one which I also liked a lot:

Beautiful Blue Pages

I wondered if it was just a thing that Canongate had done for Scarlet Thomas until I saw this:

More black pages

For Penguin in a totally different book shop.

I’m probably well behind and everyone’s been rolling out coloured pages for ages. But because I normally get books from Amazon it’s rare that I get to see books that I don’t own edge on.

I’ve been missing out.

5 thoughts on “Judging Books By Their Covers (and Page Edges)”

  1. I also like that Scarlet Thomas’ book’s proportions are slightly different and the text layout is very close to the edge of the page. Its a good book too, the beginning of Popco is interesting too.

  2. They’ve been doing it for a long time. Like, errr, bibles?

    Or do you mean have they been doing it a long time in the novels sector of publishing graphic design innovation?

    Also the D&AD Annual did it this year.

  3. one should ALWAYS judge a book by its cover – they design them especially to appeal to the kind of person who will enjoy reading them.

    I personally enjoyed books with raised lettering on the covers. I’m a 3D kinda guy.

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