The Millions reported on the differences between book covers in the U.S. and their U.K. counterparts. I’ll admit, as someone who appreciates art, to being drawn to books, initially, by the cover, particularly if I have no foreknowledge of the book. Sadly, that little habit has bitten me in rear more times than I’d like to admit. But with varying design preferences and, what I’m sure are factors that consider the “buying public,” it seems that covers are becoming increasingly elaborate. This seems to be true when discussing the, perhaps, cultural differences that exist in separate countries. Certainly, for instance, cultural norms are taken into consideration, especially if we’re talking about countries that are “less than” democratic or where the ruling religion dictates propriety. However, when it’s two similar countries, like the U.S. and the U.K., you might ask how different can the covers be? The following attempts to exhibit those differences. The Millions writer, C. Max Magee, contends:
Book cover design never seems to garner much discussion in the literary world, but, as readers, we are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read. Even in the age of the Kindle, we are clicking through the images as we impulsively download this book or that one. I’ve always found it especially interesting that the U.K. and U.S. covers often differ from one another, suggesting that certain layouts and imagery will better appeal to readers on one side of the Atlantic rather than the other. These differences are especially striking when we look at the covers side by side”
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