Let’s Talk Bookish: What Makes A Book Beautiful?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today’s topic is What Makes a Book Beautiful?

It’s impossible not to sometimes judge books by the cover – what makes a book beautiful to you? Are there certain covers you’re drawn towards, and certain styles you stay away from?

As a rule, I try my best not to judge books by their covers. The cover may draw me to look into a book further, but it’s rarely the reason why I decide to read it. After all, a book could have a great cover but a lacklustre story. The opposite holds true as well, and while a pretty cover is not usually enough to convince me to read a book, an ugly one can actually keep it off my TBR if I haven’t heard of it or wasn’t looking for it specifically.

For me, a beautiful cover, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, should accurately reflect the mood of the story. There are many trends in book covers in recent years, particularly if one looks at YA novels. While I have no particular favourite types, there are certain formats I feel fit certain genres better. For fantasy novels, I like when the covers are either illustrated (both realistic and non) or symbolic (like Six of Crows or Red Queen). Ornamental covers can be really pretty as can more abstract designs and they work well for any genre.

For historical fiction novels, it’s nice when the covers are time period appropriate and I enjoy looking for details that might hint at the story.

Retellings also have some very interesting covers, usually leaning towards darker shades which I like.

The one kind of cover I’m not too fond of are the excessively bright ones – common in contemporary novels. They’re just a little too eye-catching for my taste as I prefer in general for my bookshelf to look more sophisticated. The only other style I always stay from are the movie covers (do they even count?).

The layout of the information on the cover also affects how I perceive a book. I’ve noticed in some books, especially when they’re part of a series, the text on the cover is very strangely sized where the author or series name is much more prominent than the actual title. This always annoys me because I tend to remember the book title first and series name second, so it makes looking for a book that much more confusing.

What are some of the most beautiful covers you’ve seen?

There are so many to choose from! A few of my favourites are The Selection, The Infernal Devices, the Firebird series, Six of Crows duology, Strange the Dreamer, Red Queen and many more.

What are your thoughts on book covers? Do you have a favourite type? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: What Makes A Book Beautiful?

  1. Kaya @ afictionalbookworm February 12, 2021 / 12:05 am

    this is such a great post!! i didn’t realize that retellings mostly have darker shades haha. i love darker illustrations, i find that they’re more striking for me personally!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 13, 2021 / 11:39 am

      Thank you! It’s a pattern I noticed only while putting this post together 😄 They’re definitely very striking and look so great on the shelf!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. J (Midnight Book Blog) February 12, 2021 / 8:58 am

    I agree, I try not to be swayed, but I still am. Although the cover style often tells you a little about the genre as well, so I find it a little he,Paul to judge that way

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 13, 2021 / 11:41 am

      That’s very true. The cover can be a useful tool in deciding if the premise doesn’t give enough information. Thanks for reading!


    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 13, 2021 / 11:42 am

      Thank you! It was really hard to pick just a few when there are so many amazing covers to choose from 😄


  3. Giulia February 12, 2021 / 12:22 pm

    Book covers always draw me in, but like you it’s the story that I am more interested in. So if the back of book sounds dull, then the cover alone cannot win me over. I also am drawn in by titles–interesting titles grab my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 13, 2021 / 11:44 am

      I agree, titles are extremely important because it’s the first thing that one sees and often decides if I’m going to read the synopsis at all. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaya Avendel February 12, 2021 / 5:23 pm

    I love a beautiful cover, but often feel betrayed if the cover does not then reflect the style and words inside the story. A cover and a story that click and fit together like a puzzle piece is often what makes me love a good book even more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fransic verso February 12, 2021 / 9:56 pm

    I totally agree, instead of a cool cover and a bad story. Why not make the cover hint about the story or something. Great information!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Raji (@journeyintofantasy) February 19, 2021 / 4:32 pm

      Thanks for reading! Yes, so much effort is put into making book covers look good these days that it doesn’t always match the story.


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