Book Jacket Ramblings Pt. 1

by | Apr 14, 2012 | Features

Oftentimes, book selections are first based on a book’s exterior. Later, one takes into consideration the smell of the binding (oh, the faintly musky scent of wheat-based glue!) and whether the book lies flat easily in one’s hand. But let us start at the beginning. Glossy or matte?

Much like lipstick, glossy books say to me that they’re good for a fun night; they can laugh at themselves and their authors are good at not only emotional resonance but also for a bit of Andre. Matte books emanate a slightly darker undertone. They drink coffee in Veselka down on 9th and Second and listen to archly satirical songs by Marina and the Diamonds. You want fluff? You don’t get fluff with matte books. Settle down and saddle up, boys and girls, interweaving plot lines will be involved.

I should add here that all of these statements are mere conjectures. With that disclaimer out of the way, on we go to the land of Oz!

When two authors collaborate, we sometimes get… the bipolar book cover!

Case in point.

I read this book in elementary school and can no longer remember the plot, but I do remember vastly enjoying its cover. The majority of it was darkly matte with a velvety finish but the purple pitcher was glossy. Mind. Boggled. Obviously, there were other contentions between the two authors seeing as the book has two titles: Sorcery & Cecelia OR The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. This pot is important. This pot is glossy on a matte cover; it’s featured in the title; and it’s clearly more pitcher-shaped than it is pot-shaped. What would its mother say?!

Moving on. Long, long ago, in the days when pottage and pilliwinks abounded, authors congregated and proclaimed that each genre should have a distinctive theme. The theme of romance novels can be accurately summed up in one word: Chests. I’ve spoken of Fabio’s chest before, but I add here that any moderately toned chest will do.


I believe the designers thought his chest was sufficient compensation for his amputated head. Viewers probably agreed.







I'm sorry, what?

Chest. Chest. Chest. Shirt? Hmmm, I don’t think you quite understood the name of the game here, Vanessa Grant. Someone remind this lady what her target demographic is… unless she’s looking to hook readers who love crack baby sales, which (hopefully) is too small of an audience to warrant mass marketing.

Finally, before books could talk, play music, do your dishes, and change your baby’s diaper, the coolest book on the block for many children was Rainbow Fish, which, wait for it… glittered.

Old school cool at its best, ladies and gents.

The saying goes that you shouldn’t judge a book by its covers but if you got me started on what lies inbetween… you might never leave this site and I’m too poor to feed all of you.

And so, I release you back, dear readers, to your lives. Come again soon for Book Jacket Ramblings Part 2!

Jane Wang