Thursday, 23 February 2017

My Totally Irrational LOATHING of People on Book Covers

Is there anything in particular on a book cover that puts you off a book all together? Something that stops you from even questioning what the story is about? Because I have that big time. I hate images of people on books. I can't explain why - I just do. It's something about having a face on a cover with eyes that stare into your mind and try to steal your soul that is a big nope for me. But this dislike is a very specific one.

1. I'm okay with silhouettes. 
In fact some of my favourite covers feature silhoettes. They're great because they don't feature any creepy faces. Plus they're super minimalist in an artistic way.

2. I'm fine if it's an autobiography.
Obviously. I mean, the face is there for a reason and with autobiographies I know who the face is.

3.  I'm okay with people on books if it looks artsy/unrealistic.
I'm chill with graphic novels, because the people on the covers are so obviously art. And with The Raven Cycle you can clearly see the brushwork - BLLB is a piece of art as opposed to a solid face, and that I love.

4. I can let it slide as long as the person isn't the prime focus.
Rick Riordan's books do have people on the cover, but I don't mind too much because there's other stuff going on. As for Cress and Winter - the focus is on the hair and the apple rather than the body and the hand. 

5. I'm very conflicted if the art is semi-realistic.
Sorry Celaena! I appreciate how the art on these covers really reflect the series but I can't help but feel that they'd look so much better if they were minimalistic (I'm all about that minimalism).

6. I really don't like full body realistic shots.
I mean look at these. Based on covers alone, I would have never picked any of these up. Which would've been a real shame with Quicksilver and The Infernal Devices because I ended up becoming obsessed with them! I just don't like the fact that TID has people on there that don't match how I imagine the characters to look.

7. But I LOATHE it when a cover is just a face.
I hate these covers. The Artemis Fowl remade covers I hate with a burning passion. All of my childhood troubles could probably be linked back to when someone decided to replace the Artemis Fowl covers MID SERIES. I went from covers that promised sci-fi and excitement to this monstrosity. I just hate the way all these faces look at me like 'read me' - no. I will not read you, terrifying book. Your cover tells me literally NOTHING about what you contain so why should I? I want covers that reflect a story, not this!


I'd take this over this

or this over this

or this over this

any day. And there's not really an adequate reason as to why I hate faces on covers so much. I just feel like with the examples above, (A) reflects the story way better than (B) without having much going on at all. I can take these books more seriously as a work of fiction when there aren't people on the covers. And maybe that's wrong of me to think that way but I'd take a piece of artwork like the new Mortal Instruments covers over a picture of a shirtless guy any day.

I hope you enjoyed my silly little rant. Do you feel the same about books with people on the covers? Maybe you have a different very specific pet peeve when it comes to books or their covers. What do you like/dislike about a cover? Do you think there's any solid basis as to why I hate people on book covers so much? Let me know! I want to hear from you!


  1. I feel exactly the same about this, but I really can't pinpoint why i hate people on covers so much. I'm ok with realistic illustrations (so I'm ok with the Throne of Glass ones) but I can't stand photographs of people for some reason, and it doesn't have to just be the face! It can be the whole body. I have no idea why though! :)

    1. Agreed - photographs of actual people are the worst. It doesn't say anything about the story other than 'this focuses on a super inconcievably attractive character who is nothing like the character you will imagine'. Plus staring at their faces creeps me out :')
      Glad I'm not the only one!

  2. I don't like people on covers either. Overall, I prefer simpler covers than any with people, but in addition to that, I really don't like having an image of what a character looks like put in my head before I've even read the books. I'd rather come up with the image of the character myself based on their description in the book.

    1. I also prefer simplistic covers. They're so much more artistic and just nicer to look at. Not that photography can't be super artistic, but normally the cover is just a picture of a face - no art involved. Also yes, I hate being provided with a picture of the character. I'd much rather the writing give me an idea of the character than the cover.

  3. My husband shares your loathing of people on the cover of his books. He says that it's because he doesn't want to have the cover design create the image in his mind of what the character looks like. He'd rather imagine for himself. But I'm with you as well, minimalistic definitely is my preferred cover design.

    1. Yes, often the people on the covers are not even slighly how I imagine the characters and that's really annoying. But I think I mostly hate them because it feels like they're watching me :')