chestnut book blog

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Beautiful Book Covers

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I thought I’d just take a minute to be shallow and appreciate books as beautiful objects, as well as for the stories they contain. Here are some of my favourites:

A guide to elegance

This simple, elegant cover really appeals to me. It is a perfect package for the chic and perfect world inside. It feels nostalgic and glamorous. Duck-egg blue is one of my favourite colours and I love the calligraphy. Sometimes text and words alone can be art, wouldn’t you agree?

The Snow Child

I think most people have a motif, symbol or doodle that they love. For some it is butterflies, some skulls, others hearts and so on. For me, it has always been leaves and branches and trees. Any book with trees on the cover therefore is bound to appeal to me but this one in particular, with its fairy tale whimsy, is special.

The Miniaturist

I spoke about this beauty last week. In general, my taste is for simplicity and clean lines, but I make exceptions! It is the rich detail and tones that make this book jacket unusual and impossible to resist in the book shop.

Howards End is on the Landing

Here is my old favourite! I originally had a paperback version but the spine was beginning to break, partly due to loving over-use and partly because the binding didn’t seem particularly good quality. I tracked down this hardback edition second-hand and haven’t looked back since. A book about books with beautiful book spines on the cover. What could be more perfect?


I like a weighty history now and again. They often have interesting covers and She Wolves is one of my favourites. Based around the Holbein portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the golds and reds pop off the page. This is another example of where carefully considered detail can be as striking as simplicity.

The End of Your Life Book Club

I just love leaves, what can I say! The use of leaves as the border for this book’s title is simple and effective. The evocation of autumn in the colouring reflects the subject of this title, dying, subtly and elegantly.

It is not the most important thing about any book, but with so many wonderful reads to choose from, a beautiful, considered and intelligent cover is a key element of success. To me, this seems particularly important for a hardback. If I am going to make the investment in a hardback now, given that I can buy paperbacks for under £4 and have instant access to e-books, I want it to be a beautiful object that makes me happy when I see it on my bedside table, as well as delivering a great story.

Do you agree? What are your favourite book covers? I’d love to know.

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