Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Elements I Love & Loathe

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Book Cover Freebie – meaning we come up with our own spin on the topic, so long as it relates to book covers.

I thought I’d keep it simple and highlight types of covers that I love… plus a couple that I loathe.


1. Covers featuring dreamy characters gazing out to sea — my favorite example being this lovely cover for The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley:

2. Bright colors on a black background: Maybe it became popular back with Twilight, but I’m always a sucker for the bright-on-black look.

3. Cutesy cartoon-y romance covers:

4. Cheesy 70s covers:

5. Moody urban fantasy heroes:

6. A series with a committed cover theme:

7. Bonkers looks for a bonkers book — such as these covers for books by Grady Hendrix:

8. Covers full of YUM — I’m not a foodie, but I do love a good cupcake!


And just a couple types of covers that I LOATHE:

9. Bare chests. Muscles. Tattoos. Muscle-y tattooed chests. You get what I mean.

[Note: Sorry — I started looking for images to go with this one, and I just couldn’t. For whatever reason, this type of cover makes me cringe SO much.]

10. Movie/TV tie-ins. I mean, I love a great adaptation as much as anyone, but I still prefer my book covers to be just book covers, not pictures of movie or TV stars. Even for my beloved Outlander series, I’d still take an old-fashioned cover over the new Jamie/Claire/TV cover (and don’t get me wrong, I adore the TV series!)


Are there certain types of covers that you love or loathe? Let me know what you think!

And if you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link.





38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Elements I Love & Loathe

  1. I love your take on this week’s topic! πŸ–€ I don’t like characters faces on covers. I preferred to imagine how they look myself. And I totally agree don’t use the picture from the movie on books. The originals are perfectly fine :))

  2. Great list! Yes, I love a series with a committed cover design – it’s so satisfying. Cheesy ’70s covers are so fun, too – I especially love fantasy covers from the ’70s and ’80s because they’re just so bad they’re good.

  3. Bare chests lol! They are totally overdone. I just hate when series change their covers, especially half way through.
    Here’s my list for TTT

  4. I like romcom illustrated covers. It’s a new trend in romance I’m enjoying as of yet. And so agree with you on the Movie/TV series themed covers. So not my cup of tea. This is one area where HP has sort of won, among everything. I love the various editions they come up with, even though I do despair about not being able to own every single edition! πŸ˜‚
    Have a great reading week!
    Here’s my TTT:
    Do check if interested! 😊❀️

    • Are you trying to get every possible HP? That’s a big goal! I have a few different versions, but I’ve convinced myself that I should stop spending money on books that I already own… even though the house editions are so nice!!

  5. Great list this week. Though I don’t read a ton of romance novels, the covers you featured are fun. I like the illustrated cover trend.

    I’m with you on the movie/TV tie-in covers. I have kept two copies of the The Thorn Birds for years–one with the original cover and the other one with Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward. I hadn’t read the book before I saw the movie. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered Father Ralph looked nothing like Richard Chamberlain. πŸ™‚

    • Ha ha, sometimes it can be hard to separate the book character from the TV character, especially for a classic like The Thorn Birds! I mean, I’ve read the Lord of the Rings books, but I can’t help it — Aragorn is Viggo Mortenson, no two ways about it!

  6. I dislike movie tie-in covers too. Even when I like the movie, I just want the classic look, not to be reminded of the characters Hollywood (or whoever) cast in the roles that I initially imagined in my head. Even for something like Harry Potter, where by the time I got around to reading the books (still working my way through) the movie actors basically are those characters in my head, I prefer the non-movie covers.

    • I suppose the movie tie-ins are a way to draw people to the books who maybe wouldn’t normally read them… but I’m a purist when it comes to my covers, I guess! πŸ™‚

      • I can see it that way. Plenty of people might be more willing to buy The Martian with Matt Damon on the cover instead of a faceless astronaut. But like you, I prefer the non-movie covers.

  7. These are great, Lisa. Who can argue with cupcakes, right? As for the bare chest covers, I think they’re funny (but also so so cringey) and there are so many with the same type – not that I’m reading them!

    • I’ve seen a couple of books on other blogs recently with really bright flowers on a black background and they were so pretty… but of course, I couldn’t remember what they were once I wanted them for this post. πŸ™‚

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