I’m not one for impulse buys. I don’t just find a pretty book off the bookstore shelf, snatch it up, and bring it home. Experience has taught me that doesn’t usually end well.
But there have been times when I’ve been browsing the bookstore, the library, or my Goodreads feed, found a pretty cover, and read the blurb as a result. Then, I’ll check it out at the library. Sometimes the library doesn’t have it. Indie books, for example, are hard to come by. But for most books, two out of three times, the library has it. Then, if I really enjoy the story, I’ll buy the book.
Here are just a few pretty books that made their way to my
shelves because the cover caught my eye. Books are organized by the authors’
1) Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
You know how there isn’t a starfish on the cover except for the word itself? Yeah, that intrigued me, and I wanted to figure out why. Not to mention that font, the purple, galaxy-like backdrop, and the sketch of a jellyfish!
I ended up reading the book at my library, then bought the book a couple years later when I had access to an English bookstore again. I don’t remember the plot very well anymore, so it’s probably time for a reread.
2) Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
“Take a breath, Thomas. There has always been fear. There will always be fear. It’s up to us to stand tall, even when the fear demands we bow to it.”
I’d seen Brandes’ books on Goodreads before but was never interested in them until Fawkes came out. I particularly enjoy stories that feature masks that hide identities (not necessarily ones that cover one’s mouth), even though masquerade balls are always a bad idea for characters. It’s like they’re asking for trouble! Even though there are no masquerades in this story, the plot is even better than the cover.
I listened to the audiobook from my library first, and then a dear friend bought me the book (thanks again, Faith!). But it totally counts for this list.
3) A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole
Look at that pretty little plant on the cover! It’s a sci-fi book, so it left me wondering if it was a flower or just some sort of spore. That and the backdrop is black, so it really stands out.
I read the book at my library first, and while the story wasn’t so much about plants as it was about nature and animals, it was really fascinating. So much so, I ordered the book online rather than wait to find an English bookstore.
4) The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
“I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return.”
Look at all those different fonts! Is the cover busy? Yes. Is it pretty? You bet. Did I enjoy the book even more? Absolutely! The cover actually reflects how there’s a lot going on in the book and all the different worlds featured within, and I enjoyed every page.
I read this one at my local library than bought it at the bookstore within the next week.
5) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
I bought this one on a whim when I was visiting London with a friend. It had been on my list for a bit, and the cover looked intriguing. You know, light, fluffy. Yeah, no, the book isn’t fluffy at all. It ripped my heart out. Thanks a lot. It’s one of those sad contemporary ones, but it’s still so, so good.
When the Netflix adaptation came out, I forced my family to watch it with me. They cried.
6) The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
“Once upon a time we were the standard colors of a rainbow, cheery and certain of ourselves. At some point, we all began to stumble into the in-betweens, the murky colors made dark and complicated by resentment and quiet anger. At some point, my mother slid so off track she sank into hues of gray, a world drawn only in shadows.”
The colors on the cover are both striking and beautiful, quite like the story itself. I also like the way the text bends with the shape of the bird. That and the story itself is enchanting yet heartbreaking. I read it at the library, then bought the book. Now it’s probably time for a reread.
7) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
“I’m not a kid. I'M A SHARK!”
I first saw this one at my library and picked it up on a whim. The story is just as fun as the art. It follows some of my favorite tropes and one of my favorite themes, “What makes a monster or a villain?”
Of course, I bought the book as soon as I could, and now it’s one of my go-to books when I want something particularly fun.
8) The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi
“A good teacher is not one who never doubts, but rather one who strives to keep on learning despite the doubts in her mind.”
Look at that cover! Isn’t it pretty?! The font is classical fantasy, the colors are pleasing, and I particularly like the way the Royal Beast portrayed on the cover includes natural elements, adding to their mysterious nature. And let’s not forget Elin standing there with her harp.
To be more accurate, I spotted its sequel The Beast Warrior first. The booksellers had the cover turned to face browsers like myself, and long story short, the method worked. I’m waiting until The Beast Warrior comes out in paperback before I get my copy. It should be out by now! *stares longingly at bookshelf*
There you have it! Just a few books I’d recommend having read them and admired their covers.
Let’s chat! What are some books with pretty covers that you enjoy? Do you impulse buy books? Why/why not?