It’s a truism of reading that books are judged by their covers, no matter how much we feel in our hearts that we shouldn’t be swayed by looks. In my experience, teen readers feel especially passionate about this. Shabby book? No way. Juvenile or dated-looking cover? Pass! So I pay extra attention when older books are issued with fresh new covers. In the visual world of teen marketing, it can mean a new lease on life for many older books, and discovery by a whole new generation. Here are just a few examples:
Taking Terri Mueller‘s reissue caught my eye, because it’s a book that I tore through as a teen. I can still feel Terri’s anxiety in that phone both, even though today’s teens have no idea what a phone booth *is,* or why she is wearing that weird vest or hairstyle. That 1981 book would never go out at my library, whereas the new one, with its bright, clean design and more timeless teen model, stands a chance. The reboot of Terri is a new offering from Lizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint whose mission fits this topic: to bring back YA literature gems of the 1970s and 1980s (and earlier!).
Of course, some book cover reissues do not go over so well (looking at you, blonde Anne of Green Gables), and some don’t count as throwbacks at all (Mia Cabana talked about paperback redesigns for the Hub in 2011; some of these titles haven’t been out that long). But as far as taking an older book and giving it new life, there’s nothing like a fresh cover design to bring it back into the limelight.
Do you feel like these are successful cover reissues? Do you have any personal favorites (or fails) that you’ve noticed?
~Rebecca O’Neil, currently reading Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed