#ArmchairBEA – Day 2 – Aesthetics – it’s all about the books!


Design by Amber of Shelf Notes

I’ve been reading mainly ebooks the last few years, and not all will have covers – it’s the blurb that’s more important when looking to request a galley.  I have noticed that Netgalley (where I get most of mine from) is now putting more focus on the covers when putting them out for offer, and are asking for feedback when requesting the book.  Edelweiss and Librarything however, currently aren’t asking about the effect of the cover

As for physical books, the aesthetic is much more important. The paper, the cover …. will it survive the handbag for 2 weeks?!  There are hardbacks that will be never taken on the commute…..(my handbag and shoulder won’t cope with the weight!). The cover can affect whether I will pick up a book or not – I’ve been known to pick up a certain copy of Jane Eyre purely because of the bland cover as I knew I could shove it in the handbag and not worry about the coffee stains.  Some covers will put me off a book, some will attract me to at least picking it up, but ultimately it’s either  the author or the blurb that attracts me to adding a book to my shelf.

Books like the Persephone Greys are a joy to feel, and it’s a mixture of the paper they’re printed on, the bookmark that is individual to the book and which matches the front and back piece.   I rarely have to have books with matching covers. Persephone Greys apart of course! I have got a set of Jane Austen books that were on sale in a bookshop (3 for 2 or something) and it seemed rude not to pick up all 6 to match! When the Terry Pratchett books came out I’ve always tried to get the hardbacks to add to my collection, as there will be a certain style to the dustjacket

3 thoughts on “#ArmchairBEA – Day 2 – Aesthetics – it’s all about the books!

  1. Those Persephone Greys are gorgeous! I’d never heard of them before, so thanks for bringing them to my attention! They’re beautiful!

    I take a book everywhere as well and my handbag is generally a mess so I often worry about my precious books getting damaged. Library books with plastic covers are the best for handbags! I try not to lug hardbacks around because of my poor shoulders, but y’know, needs must. If I’m reading one I will cart it about like a fool 🙂 (And spend all day regretting it; especially when I don’t get chance to read it!)


    • Not only are the PGs lovely to look at, there’s the added benefit of 1) Persephone Books being an independent publisher and 2) Persephone invest their time in republishing books by women writers, where the book (if not the author) has been long forgotten. So for every Dorothy Whipple they publish there’s 10 books by women who were good enough to publish in the 1920 – 1940s, and who need to be remembered again!


  2. Reminds me of Virago books. I loved these in the 80s. A friend, who worked for Penguin, said that they were offered the Virago idea and they refused it as they thought book readers wouldn’t be swayed by a cover. It’s always the contents that are important. How wrong they were. Thanks Virago for starting a beautiful trend.


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