When Covers Don’t Match…

Oh I can just hear you book lovers grind their teeth at the idea!

A few scenarios. You are enthusiastically collecting a series, and you want them all neatly on your shelf…

The latest volume is announced and…
They changed the cover design.
This time there’s no mistake. That cover looks the same as what’s on your shelf!
The latest volume arrives, you open the box, and…
This wasn’t the cover that was listed online, surely?
Great! You double checked with the seller and he/she confirmed that the cover is the same as the rest of the series. Only one edition, so there’s no mistake.
The book arrives, you open the wrapping, and it’s the same cover!
At last! You put it on your shelf next to its mates.
You stand back and proudly look at your shelf… to discover they changed the spine.

Do you recognise these situations? Does it bother you when covers don’t match?

It sure bothers me *sadface* Let me show you some examples…

Exhibit A: Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente

I already had the first volume when the second was published. In retrospect, when looking at the covers, they did slightly change the cover. However, I had no reason to expect this…
Fairyland Fairyland
Looks the same? Well…
The Girl Who

Exhibit B: Dirk Gently by Douglas Adams

Now, surely, these covers look the same?
Dirk Gently Dirk Gently
Think again 🙁 Different sizes!
Dirk Gently

Exhibit C: Een Groene Bloem by Floortje Zwigtman

Now, the problem with this series is this: Only the first two volumes were published in this edition. The final volume? Hardcover and a completely different design…
My books:
The other edition:
Floortje Zwigtman Floortje Zwigtman Floortje Zwigtman
Yeah, I like my edition better…

Exhibit D: The Saga of Larten Crepsley by Darren Shan

To me, this was one of the worst cases. I didn’t suspect a thing. I opened the box and saw four pleasantly matching covers:
Larten Crepsley
Until I put them on the shelf…
Larten Crepsley
Why. Why would you do this to me.

Exhibit E: Neil Gaiman

Now, from here on this is not necessarily about series. Sometimes publishers decide to publish a set of books by one author in the same style. I love it when they do that! So when I found these by Neil Gaiman, I was happy. I don’t own all of them, but I got these on different occasions in book stores:
Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman
Yep, on different occasions…
Neil Gaiman

Exhibit F: Banana Yoshimoto

Same case as before. I LOVE these covers and I want to collect them all!
Banana Yoshimoto Banana Yoshimoto
But I have to pay more attention next time…
Banana Yoshimoto

Now the world doesn’t end with mismatched series. And overall I am quite pleased with how my shelves look.
When Covers Don't Match

But still..!


    • I try not to get too frustrated but sometimes you just want to facepalm (The Saga of Larten Crepsley was by far the worst because… why, just why XD). My Murakami shelf sounds exactly like yours, it’s probably one of my messiest shelves haha. I love how on multiple occasions special series of covers have been published for his work… but it’s just not reflected on my shelf lol.

  1. OMG this makes me so so mad! I have a bunch of these as well… ASoIaF books… same motif and all but the last 2 are taller. Throne of Glass isn’t on my shelves because it wouldn’t match the rest of the series. The Golden Lily is some weird edition so it doesn’t match at all and it’s making my eyes hurt. I neve even bought Across the Universe because they took away the pretty covers 1 book from the end. -.-‘
    And my ENTIRE Agatha Christie collection (I have about a third but the rest exist and will be bought soon) match EXCEPT FOR ONE NOVEL. One. In 40+ book series. Are you for real?! It’s a novel that came into being a bit awkwardly, and it’s listed at the back of the rest of the books in the series, but doesn’t actually exist within the edition. Caused me some an ulcer or two.
    Ula @ Blog of Erised recently posted… Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Classics I Want To ReadMy Profile

  2. Haha, to be honest cover changes and size differences don’t really bother me. I do like when my series or books from the same author are all “matchy-matchy”, (and if someone wants to present me box sets, then by all means – IMEANYESPLEASE), but if they are not – then not *shrugs*. When buying a book, I usually just pick the cover I like the most (and sometimes I like a newer cover more..)

    Btw, I think your shelves look beautiful!
    Cayce recently posted… [Blog Tour & Giveaway] Chat with Anna Frost: Portrayals of LGBTQIA Characters in Japanese Media (Anime/Manga)My Profile

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