Friday, October 19, 2012

Discussion: Pretty Spines

consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate  --Websters Dictionary
I follow several bloggers who host weekly or monthly discussions for readers/bloggers and I like to join in when I feel I have something to say. Find great topics at Misty's Book Chat, Amber's Saturday Discussion,  and TBTB's Top Ten Tuesday.

This week I'm participating in Misty's Book Chat and we are talking about...Pretty spines.

Rather, we are talking about which books on our shelves have our favourite spine-y designs and why we like them. So without further ado...

As I looked through my shelves there were certain books that stood out to me right away. These were my favourites:

  • The Summer series by Jenny Han
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
  • Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
  • Jane by April Lindner

So what do I like about these spines, other than the fact they look amazing sitting next to each other on the shelf?

Here's a breakdown of the reasons I think these spine designs go above the average book.

Matching Series - This should be a no-brainer but it's not always the case that series covers, and therefore spines, have matching designs. I like the same concept applied throughout a series. Even if the books are different colours, applying the same patterns and fonts are much more pleasing to my eyes.

Distinct Fonts - Books like Anna and the French Kiss, Cinder, and Graceling that have very pretty but unusual fonts, and that font is also used on the spine. It gives a special extra touch to the design.

A Touch of the Cover - When I think of certain books, I also tend to bring up the image of the cover in my head. If someone mentions a book I've read, I immediately know what the cover looks like. Also, the cover artist usually spends a lot of time creating this image for us, so why do so many publishers throw out that image and the connection to the reader when it comes to the spine? I like to see just a touch of the cover design on my spines. For example, the Eiffel Tower in Anna, the cyborg foot in Cinder, and the photographic images in the Summer series. Those are my favourite to look at in my bookshelf and I wish more publishers would do this.

Shiny - Yes, I like shiny things! Who doesn't? My favourite shiny spine on my shelf is Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. It has that extra touch of a shiny font, and an image that looks like a nice texture. Plus, it's that dark blue colour which is my favourite.

Accent Colours - Books that have simple spines like Audition, Pathfinder, and Jane stand out on their own because of different elements like distinct fonts, pops of colour, or the shiny. However, because the design is more simple, with one colour being the focus (white, blue, grey) they also make really nice breaks in between other books and series.

And lastly, if I can look at a bookshelf from across the room and still know which book or series I'm looking at, I know the publisher has done a good job.

Now I'm curious to know what you all thought of my choices, my reasoning, and which books you would consider having your favourite spine designs?


  1. Totally agree with you! Lol this is so weird though, I have Anna, Jane and Cinder on the same shelf just a couple of books between each book! I really need to read Jenny Han's books! :)

    1. I really need to FINISH reading Jenny Han's books! I've only read the first! It was really good though. That's so weird that you put them on the same shelf. I guess great minds think alike ;D

  2. Without realizing it, I think a lot of the same things stuck out to me. Colors and Fonts ALWAYS stick out first to me. And I agree completely about being able to be across the room and still know which book I am looking at.

    Konstanz Silverbow

    1. Yes! So happy you agreed with some of things I mentioned, especially the last point. I'm wondering which books you've been able to do this with. It's so weird, when I'm watching YouTube videos I know exactly what a book is even though it's out of focus. I wonder if it's the same for others?

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  4. A lot of the same things you said apply to me, too, now that I've thought about it. I especially have to agree with the colors, though I also like it when the title and such is in white with a darker color as the background. I also agree with the shiny, the House of Night series has a shiny design overlay, and when I sit on my bed the light hits the series just right that the designs really pop.

  5. I love all of your choices as well. I have never seen Pathfinder's spine. I totally love it. :)

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