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New v. Old Book Covers: Which do I Prefer?

woman reading harry potter book
Photo by Dids on

Publishers often change up book covers either to bring in a new audience or encourage individuals to buy additional editions of their favorite series. Sometimes, I liked the new design over the old one. But usually, it’s the other way around. So, I thought I would compare some of my favorite series where the covers were drastically changed over the years.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

This shift happened while I was still reading the books. The first four books I have use the old covers, and the last two are the new design. Honestly, this redesign I don’t mind too much as the hint of the original is still underneath. It looks cleaner with the academy logo front and center on the cover. The old ones feel old, while the newer ones actually feel more modern. So, for this series, I have to say I would go with the new version if I had to replace my entire collection.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This is one where I prefer the old cover design. Yes, there are elements of the new cover I like (such as the title layout), but each of the images doesn’t quite reflect the books. They redid these due to the shift from young adult to adult, but I still would’ve loved it if they kept the old design. Not to mention that the colors are a bit much. I’m not a massive fan of minimalism, so that kind of plays into why I prefer the old cover design.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

I love the new covers, they each have one of the characters featured without it looking over the top like the original covers did. You still have the city, but it’s on the spine of the book. Plus, the new design just looks cleaner which I prefer. I don’t necessarily love that the cover has that cut-away thing going on, but the rest of the design I’m a fan of.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

There have been many versions of this book to be released. My sister owns the original (one on the left), while I own the one on the right. If I look on Amazon, currently the one in the middle is displayed for the cover. And I’m sure there are countless more out there. I love the version that I have as it captures that world of magic feel. The middle one while it is closer to the original, it only has one element of the book and could honestly be used for any of them as Harry plays Quidditch in almost every book. And the original is classic, I do like the art style of it but the checkerboard bottom makes it feel a bit dated. I do think the name could stand out a bit more, but this version is embossed so it doesn’t have a different feel to it. Overall, each is a great cover but if I could only pick one I would go with the one on the right. Especially because the spines look like Hogwarts when all lined up on the shelf.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Just no to the new cover. Why would you split up the text like this? All the books do this with the backgrounds just being brought more to the foreground with a slight shift in saturation. If you were going to redo the covers, redo them. This is just nope. Going with the original covers for this series.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

This one I am torn between which ones I prefer. Each book is slightly different from the one I’m showing here. The original cover has a portion of a person’s face shown but doesn’t really hint at what the book is about. While the new design does. However, one of them is literally just legs with surgical lines. This makes me more inclined to side with the original cover, but at the same time, I think there’s something cleaner about the way the new covers are not to mention it makes it really clear what the books are about. While you don’t get that from any of the original book covers. So, I’m calling this one a draw.

The Fair Isle Trilogy by Tessonja Odette

I love the new design, I have these in the combined trilogy so I have a different cover. But if I were to get each of the books individually, I would get the new cover. Not that there is anything wrong with the old cover but it’s the kind of cover where I wouldn’t be inclined to get it. It doesn’t call to me. A lot of romance books have covers similar to the old style that make me not want to reach for them as it’s ‘cringe’ looking, but they might actually be great. Like this one. I’m just not a massive fan of that style for a book cover. However, the one on the right (the new one) I love.

Which book covers do you prefer? Any other series with massive changes in how their cover was designed? If so, let me know in the comments.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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