Friday, May 6, 2016

The Hardcover Lover Confessions | Headphones and Book Cover Design

Hey, there, and welcome to the latest edition of my discussion post feature, The Hardcover Lover Confessions! In these confessional-like posts, I confess my bookish habits, thoughts, or other random things about the book community with my readers, and then I encourage everyone to start discussing the issue with everyone else in the comments. It's a really fun way to get some bookish confessions off your chest, but it's also a great way to get to know other people in the blogosphere by commenting and interacting.

There really isn't an order as to when I post my Confessions - I kind of come up with them when an issue arises or a thought pops into my head. Sometimes, an issue just eats away at me until I finally decide to write a post. Ergo, there could be one a month or there could be a few a month. There could even be a month when I don't post a Hardcover Lovers Confessions at all. It just all depends on what's going on in the book community or how I feel.

I think by now we all know that trends come and go in fashion. Trends in cover designs also come and go. Remember when there were so many book covers out there with gradients? What about the Post It note trend? 

More and more, it seems like readers are finding themselves face-to-face with very similar looking book covers. Personally, I like seeing a few similar covers, especially if I know that those covers are symbolizing something important. On the other hand, it's sometimes daunting to see so many covers that look the same. It makes me wonder about the lack of creativity in the book publishing world.

Hardcover Lover Confession on Headphones on Book Covers

Think about music technology in the past few years. Big, bulky, and massive headphones have made a huge comeback, especially since the introduction of Beats. Me? I'm loving this new movement because headphones are a heck of a lot less dangerous than earbuds. (I'm the ear infection queen, so I cannot wait to get a pair of headphones and toss my EarPods in the trash!) If you take a look at a school or anywhere where kids hang out, you will see that so many teenagers can often be found listening to music with headphones.

Since the resurgence of headphones, I've noticed that a lot of YA book covers feature characters listening to music on headphones, but I've also seen a lot of book covers with just a pair of headphones. While I'm loving that cover designers are taking inspiration from devices that teens and young adults are using. However, I wonder if we're seeing too many covers that look the same.

Cover Designs that Feature Characters Using Headphones


So I really like the idea of characters wearing headphones to listen to music because I feel like there are so many different directions that cover artists can take to create a beautiful cover that features these popular listening devices.

Just look at these three covers above. On the left, you'll see the paperback reissue cover for Sarah Dessen's Just Listen. The cover model, who we all assume to be Annabel is on her bed and using headphones. It's a nice and balanced design. Then we have the hardcover edition of Leila Sales' This Song Will Save Your Life. I don't know about you, but after seeing the hidden message in the text, my eyes go to the headphones, letting me know that music is a huge part of plot. On the right, you'll see a favorite among many YA readers - the cover for Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park. This simple, hand drawn design features both Eleanor and Park listening to music on headphones.

All three books feature a character (or characters) who are using headphones to listen to music, and all of the covers are completely different! Personally I think this is the best direction to take if a cover artist is thinking about using headphones on the book's cover just because the possibilities are almost endless.

Cover Designs that Feature Headphones



So I chose five covers that feature headphones to highlight how uncreative this trend is. From left to right, you can see the paperback cover for Blues for Zoey, Encore to an Empty Room, In Real Life, The Haters, and Dotwav. Do you see how similar these covers look? A lot of them even use similar colors! Most of these covers have big bold text for the title, and the headphones are pretty much the first thing that your eyes travel to. 

Out of all of these (and the many other covers that have just headphones on the cover), I like the cover for The Haters by Jesse Andrews the best because it seems to form a frowny face.

Cover Designs Featuring Headphones and Other 

Your Confessions

Alright, I've told you all about what I think about the trend of featuring headphones on book covers, and now it's your turn to confess. What do you think of this trend? Do you think that more teens are listening to music on headphones? Does it make these covers more appealing to YA readers? Are you a fan of the trend? Do you hate this trend? Do you think that a lot of these covers look similar? 

Feel free to let me know what you're thinking in the comments, and feel free to include any images of your favorite or least favorite covers with headphones.

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