Monday, February 03, 2014

CoverHo Recommends: Best Textured Books


So when Jennifer from Book-alicious Mama suggested we do a #coverho post about textured books, I was all agasp with the greatness of that idea. I am a HUGE fan of funky patterns and physical as well as visual texture. It might be my very favorite thing in fashion and decor, so why not books?

I went out and did a little physical recon for these books in a local Barnes and Noble store, and I found some surprises!


Let's start with physical texture. And what I mean is that these books are actually feely. There's a physical texture when you touch them vs. those other books down there (I love them, too!) that just appear textured. 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is much prettier in person. When I pulled it off the shelf at the bookstore, I was really impressed with the pounded copper look of the cover. This representation doesn't do it justice at all, but trust me, it's purdy. 

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen is a book I've been drooling over for a while now. The cover is a beautiful, heavy paper with a slight, almost waffle-weave texture to it. Add the beautiful illustrations on top, and it's a tactile good time. 


While I haven't read either of these books by Ben Marcus--Leaving the Sea: Stories and The Flame Alphabet--his people are doing things right with this beautiful visual texture. I'm a sucker for the colors, I'm in love with the overlaid paper texture, and I just want to pet them and hug them and love them. 


And last but certainly not least, I ran across both of these books by complete and utter chance. And what a nice surprise! Both of these fall into that "visual texture" category, as they don't feel particularly special, but the textural look is spot-on. 

Ben Stroud's Byzantium is a book I want to own for its intricate cover and the short stories inside the covers. 

And This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong is just hilarious. Such a clever cover full of depth and texture. If you zoom in on that bad boy you'll see the texture of the words on the spiders as well as ringing their little book hole there. So fun!

Which textured books flip your switch? 






47 comments:

  1. This Book is Full of Spiders is really awful. I actually know someone who would not read it due to the spiders on the cover. She would not dare to hold the book.

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    1. Ciska, I can see how quite a few people would probably have a lot of trouble with that book, but it's so odd and clever. The cover is, anyway. I haven't read the book (yet).

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  2. Ok the book cover for "This Book is Full of Spiders" would just freak me out, but I love the cover for "We, the Drowned"

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    1. Isn't We, The Drowned beautiful? I just can't get enough of it. I probably would've bought it when I went to the bookstore to look for textured covers, but the one copy in stock was bent up. Blarg.

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  3. Those are awesome covers. I love the one with Spiders. I wonder how much thought publishers put into how a book feels.

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    1. Thank you! I loved that one, too. I simply had to include it! And I'm not sure. I'm sure it drives up the cost a bit more.

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  4. Leaving the Sea was the one last night that escaped me! I should have called you!

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  5. I absolutely love the cover for We, The Drowned and have been wanting to read that book for so long!

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    1. Me too!!! Maybe we need to motivate each other with a buddy read post-wedding.

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  6. Leaving the Sea has an amazing cover... You really do want to touch it!! Thanks for another great CoverHo post!

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    1. Yes! Very much. That was what drew me to The Flame Alphabet when it came out, too. They're a couple of the most memorable covers I've seen.

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  7. If it was a book of cockroaches I wouldn't be able to touch it - but spiders no prob :-) But I digress - I haven't read any of these books yet, but Song of Achilles - I've been meaning to read it for ages!

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    1. LOL, same here! I have no problem with spiders, but roaches are OUT. I haven't ready any of these either, but I certainly want to, given the gorgeous covers.

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  8. The Penguin Threads. ERMEGHERD!!!!

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    1. You know, I slaved over the decision whether or not to include one. I ended up leaving them off because I've talked about them so much here, but they really are my faves. So beautiful!

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  9. I just can't even.... I want to touch them all. So gorgeous.

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    1. Yesss! #Coverhos for life!

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  10. The Dutch version of The song for Achilles also has a beautiful and textured cover.
    The spider book freaks me out, I would never be able to read it and even in a bookshop I would avoid it. (and if I dare, turn it over, so I could not see it anymore)

    It is good to see how publishers often (not always) think about the covers, a cover can make or break a book I think.
    Kind regards,

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    1. I'll have to look it up, Bettina. I just adore international covers. I find the differences in style fascinating. I think a lot of people would turn over the spider book if they ran across it. And I agree...covers can definitely make or break a book for me.

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  11. These are gorgeous. Too bad Ben Marcus writes books that make me want to gauge my eyes out. Haha.

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    1. And that is part of the reason why I haven't read either of these. I trust you, and I like my eyes.

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  12. I love textured book covers!

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    1. Me too! It's a whole other "dimension," for lack of a better term, to love!

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  13. You found some awesome looking books. Plus, The Song of Achilles is awesome. :)

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    1. Thanks!!!! And yes it is. I just loved it.

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  14. That spider book. Ugh. LOVE the Marcus books. Have not read them but those covers always grab my attention.

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    1. LOL. I haven't read them either, but despite some iffy reviews, I will try them just for the covers.

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  15. I wanted to add, that when 1Q84 first came out, with that vellum slipcover cover, I was in love but it proved to be very impractical. I had to remove it just to read the book or my fingerprints were all over it and then where do you keep such a thing? It got squashed even though I took such care to protect it. Good in theory but not practical.

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    1. Yeah, slipcovers in general make me nuts, but that vellum, especially seems like it would be problematic.

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  16. I've never heard of Ben Marcus but wow are those covers attractive!

    BTW have you seen the 3D printed covers of On Such a Full Sea?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2014/01/17/the_world_s_first_3_d_book_cover_on_such_a_full_sea_by_chang_rae_lee.html

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    1. Aren't they pretty? I can't resist. I haven't seen those until now and they are SO COOL!

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  17. Song of Achilles is just awesome in every possible way!
    I love the cover of We, The Drowned, to the extent that I've almost bought it several times, despite the plot not really interesting me that much.

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    1. It was so very good. And the topic doesn't interest me that much on We, The Drowned, but I know I'm going to have to have it. lol

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  18. This Book Is Full Of Spiders would not be welcome on my shelf. It would freak. me. out.

    I loved Song of Achilles and an amazing cover is just another reason to buy it! :)

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    1. Haha! Me too. So many reasons to buy Achilles!

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  19. Oh cool, I love this topic! A textured cover I really liked this past year was A Tale for the Time Being -- I love the bright colors on that cover, and the layered feel of the jacket and cover designs.

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    1. I ALMOST included that one. Plus, it's designed by my all-time fave cover illustrator. It's gorgeous (and sitting on my nightstand).

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  20. I really like the look of those Ben Marcus books! (And I just love any reason to talk about Song of Achilles! Loooooove!)

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    1. I say that to you a lot. That's what we get for sharing a brain.

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  21. AWESOME post. Because yes! Book covers! They are important. And it makes me happy when they're pretty! (And textured!)

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  22. Man alive, those Ben Marcus covers are freaking gorgeous!

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  23. SO yes, the spider book is great for texture purposes, but I don’t think I’d be able to read a physical copy. I can see myself going to grab the book in the morning or at night and freaking out.

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  24. Ew! That spider cover creeps me out.

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