I was going to post a different photo today, but with the recent drama in the bookish world, I thought I would post a photo of one of my most beautiful books, Caraval by Stephanie Garber. These “secret covers” were only available for the UK editions of Caraval, and only for the first print run (I believe). They’ve become increasingly rare and coveted (a few signed copies are available on Abebooks for $160), and I was absolutely thrilled to get my hands on a copy of my own, because I adored Caraval the first time I read it. This wasn’t the first time I went out of my way to get a special edition, and it certainly won’t be the last. I adore my UK editions of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Circe, and I love the worlds inside just as much as the beautiful covers.
View this post on Instagram
15:52 2714 // memories from the U.K. ✨ perks feels like a very British novel to me, even though it's American, probably bc of Emma Watson and the fact that I got this edition in the UK! . . QOTD: what books do you associate with places/locations? . . . . . . . #perks #stephenchbosky #emmawatson #wallflower #loganlerman #polaroids #instax #instaxmini #scotrail #bookstagram #bookphotography #bookblogger #bookish #bibliophile #bookstagramfeature #bookworm #bookster #booknerd #pages #instabook #igreads #reader
If you haven’t been keeping up with the drama in the bookish world (what a phrase to type!), the Guardian recently published an article titled “Is social media influencing book cover design?” At best, it was a shallow depiction of the world of bookstagram; at worst, it was an indictment, decrying the millennial generation for being too obsessed with aesthetics. But more infuriating than just the bad journalism are the comments of the article — filled with vitriol and judgmental critique of “fucking millenials” and “tasteless hipsters.” The high-and-mighty commenters accuse our community of buying pretty things, only to photograph them and never read them. (Where is the evidence of that?! Aside from our overflowing TBRs – because we have too many books to read!) This article has become less of a report on the current state of cover design, than a battleground of the merits and supposed blasphemous vapidity of the bookstagram community.
Bookstagram is a place where we celebrate books – both beautiful and ugly, riveting and mind-achingly dull. We’ve sparked conversations about classics and new releases, and more than anything, we’re a community that appreciates books and literature! And just because we appreciate the beauty of a cover does not make us more vain than any other reader. Why is it perfectly acceptable to invest in a nice couch for a living room as opposed to a ratty, cheap thing, yet if we seek out pretty editions of books we like, we’re labelled as shallow? We pay more for quality, and in doing so, we’re supporting authors and the publishing industry. We have been slowly shaping the world of literature, and publishers have taken note: it is not uncommon for publishers to release “collector’s editions” of well-loved contemporary books.
It’s time to redefine what it means to “judge a book by its cover” – loving the cover and appreciating the words inside are not mutually exclusive!
And to the lovely commenter “happydays12345,” who posted the oh-so-insightful comment below:
Kindly bugger off, because how I arrange my shelves are none of your fucking business. 🙂 I may arrange my books inside out, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less loved – I can tell you exactly which book it is without even having to look at the cover!