What Makes a Book Beautiful – Let’s Talk Bookish

Good afternoon, friends, and welcome back!! I am on time, thankfully, with this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish post. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What makes a book beautiful? (suggested by Dani)

This is Dani’s topic for the month, and it’s a curious one because I haven’t really thought about what makes a book beautiful. I just know that I hate some covers, and I love others, so it’ll be interesting to analyze my favorite covers to see if there is a pattern.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

I have marked a grand total of 37 books as “beautiful-cover” on my GoodReads shelf out of 408 total books. I’m assuming that means I am extremely picky, or I mostly like to read books that don’t have pretty covers. Both cases are mildly disappointing.

Yes, I’m kidding. It’s probably just that I don’t find the other covers very pretty or beautiful, not that they’re ugly. Obviously someone else might find them a lot more amazing and possibly hate the ones that I like. As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I don’t think I’ll go through all 37 covers, but I will pick the notable ones that I liked the most just to analyze.

Just from a quick glance, I seem to like sharp very 𝔬𝔯𝔫𝔞𝔱𝔢 text with some 𝓬𝓾𝓻𝓵𝔂 𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷 going on but I am partial to less fancy text. I also love either soft colors, or deep ones, but nothing that’s overly loud and popping.

I also don’t hate having people on my covers, but I usually don’t like close up face shots which is reflected in all these covers. Zoomed out covers with more careful details are a lot more interesting to me. I really like seeing the details and how they work together to make beautiful covers.

Take the cover of Blanca & Roja for example. The layers of whites, reds, and blue-blacks is so pretty, and I love how it incorporates two swans opposite each other. I didn’t see them the first time I saw the cover until someone pointed it out to me, and I haven’t been able to un-see it ever since. It’s amazingly delicate and well-connected.

The Scorpio Races‘s cover is also similar to that layered color mixing action that I really like. I just love the swirls of the colors and the deep shadows that really bring the entire cover to life. It’s like I can feel the frothing magnificent energy of the horses just by looking at it.

Descendant of the Crane is another cover with intricate details that I love. It has this general dark theme with brighter contrasts of white lilies (I think they’re lilies) and hints of orange and peach. The details of the lilies and other plants, as well as the girl with the lamp is really just so exquisite, and fits the book so well. I also love the cover of Spin the Dawn (pictured above) for similar reasons.

For The Paper Girl of Paris, The Paris Library, and Code Name Helene, I think what I love about them is the simple aesthetic of each.

  • Paper Girl has varying shades of blue, with different patterns and designs in the title and the font. But it still feels nice and uniform with the background picture.
  • The Paris Library has soft calming colors which makes it feel like a pastel version of a photo, and I love that. I also like the simple elegance of the font.
  • For Code Name Helene, I just get a very elegant and determined vibe from it which fits the main character of the book exactly. It’s also really nicely symmetrical which I like.

I generally really love historical fiction book covers. They’re always so clean and simple yet very stately and elegant.

I think that’s really my style: simply elegant, with soft colors, or very detailed with layers. I don’t really like loud flashy things, and you can even see that in the style of my blog. The reds are all muted even if they are bright, and it’s variations of pale rose, browns, and dark reds. That doesn’t mean I hate all flashy or bold covers, I just tend not to like them.

And that’s reflected in the covers that I like.

This Week’s Participants:

Lotus @ Pages of Starlight | Dani @ Literary Lion | M.T. Wilson @ The Last Book on the Left

Bex @ Bex the Bibliophile | Eleanor @ Wishing Upon a Star | Millay @ Millay’s Musings

Jillian @ Jillian the Bookish Butterfly | Raji @ Worlds Unlike Our Own | Jess @ Comfort Reads

Ashley @ Tiny Navajo Reads | Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads | Down the Rabbit Hole

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books | Krupali @ Musing of Souls

What kind of covers do you like? Are some of these your favorites? What would you classify your style? I just had this idea, would you like to see a “reacting to your favorite covers” kind of post? Chat with me in the comments below!

28 thoughts on “What Makes a Book Beautiful – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. Ooh what a lovely post Rukky! I love how you analyzed these covers, and how you said historical fiction has “clean and simple yet very stately and elegant” book covers! I need more swirly covers haha and I think some of the best ones have those depths and layers that tie in to their themes and moods!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Even before reading the rest of the post, Descendant of the Crane spoke out to me, so happy to see that you singled it out too! The depth of the illustration and the way it is portrayed is absolutely stunning – makes me want to pick it up to read. Great commentary overall, and I have to agree with the simply elegant sentiment; sometimes a few things well-placed and thought out are more than enough.

    We also participated in Let’s Talk Bookish this week on our blog, feel free to check it out: https://downtherabbitholeblog.com/2021/02/12/lets-talk-bookish-what-makes-a-book-beautiful/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, glad to know that you like it too! If you do read it, I hope you enjoy because it was a really interesting Asian inspired fantasy. I love how the ending was technically not resolved, but it was still great at the same time. Thank you for reading!!

      Oh wow, I had no idea y’all had been participating! If you would please link to a specific post rather than my homepage, I’d be able to see the pingback whenever you mention me so I won’t miss it next time. I’d really appreciate it, and I’m really sorry I’ve missed your posts in the past!! ❤✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my goodness, an Asian inspired fantasy – I think that settles it, I’ll get back to you after I read it!

        And thanks for the tip! I’ll make sure to do that next time. Thanks for setting Let’s Talk Bookish up; I’m having so much fun doing these little discussions, it’s really enlightening to see everyone’s perspectives!

        Liked by 1 person

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