Books with Gorgeous Covers

Let’s be honest, we all do the whole “judging a book by its cover” thing.

I have absolutely skipped over a book in the library or bookstore just because the cover was ugly. I’ve also bought a copy of a book and later bought a new edition, just because the new cover was prettier.

Obviously, the way we judge books is entirely subjective. But here are some book covers that I think stand out as above and beyond some of the others (this list is by no means exhaustive).


1. Any of the Penguin Clothbound Classics (also available in paperback)

penguin clothbound classics

Just looking at these makes me happy. Last year, I bought a brand-new paperback copy of Persuasion because I love this cover so much. And also my other copy was ugly. Moving on…

2. Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics

barnes and noble leatherbound classics

I’ve talked about this before, but I own several copies of books from this collection: Anne of Green GablesGrimm’s Fairy Tales, The Blue Fairy Book, Greek Myths, and A Little Princess. I desperately want their edition of The Secret Garden as well, so that might have to go on my Christmas list this year.

3. The Southern Reach Trilogy

the southern reach trilogy
[Image: Cosmopolitan]
I’ve written about this series before as well, but SIGH I love these covers so much.

4. Books by Mindy Kaling

Seriously, I’m gonna find whoever designed these books and ask them to design my life. Or like a profile picture or something.

5. These new(ish) releases

Okay, so not all of these are new releases. But they’re new(ish) to me. The Goldfinch is literally a work of art, whereas the others should be considered as such. I just started reading The Nest, but I bought it specifically because the cover made me want to do a happy dance in the middle of Barnes & Noble. I just finished Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and it was amazing, so if you don’t pick it up for the cover, pick it up for the content (what a groundbreaking statement).

6. These miscellaneous favorites

These are pretty much self-explanatory. I’ve written of my love for The God of Small Things many times, as well as my undying devotion to The Song of Achilles and The Martian. If you buy a physical copy of Caramelo like I did, flip to the page in the back that talks about the background behind the photo on the cover. It’s really interesting!


If you’re interested in book covers and book cover design, you should absolutely check out this TED Talk by designer Chip Kidd. It’s hilarious, informative, and really enjoyable.

What book covers do you love? Which books have you bought just because their covers drew you in?

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