American Covers

Yesterday I came home, or should I say I came back to my homes as the move still hasn’t finished, and was greeted by a parcel from America. I was lucky enough to recently win a copy of ‘Olive Kitteridge’ by Elizabeth Strout from the delightful C.B. James.

Olive Kitteridge

I have been hankering after this book for ages especially after it won this years Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (I have loved the Pulitzer winners I have read more than the Man Booker winners I have read as this goes to print) so its is a most welcome book to the TBR pile though I don’t think it will be on there for very long as I am itching to read it already.

The cover is what has lead to today’s blog main topic however. I think its beautiful very understated and classic, and I love the gold stamps that they put on certain books in America. I mean if you compare the American cover to the British cover the winner is clear.


I then noticed, with everything so easy to find on my new shelving system, I have been unintentionally swapping some of my TBR books from British cover to American cover like I have just done with a wonderul copy of both Nancy Mitford’s books in one volume ‘The Pursuit of Love’ and ‘Love In A Cold Climate’ my new cover (bought for 50p second hand but a new American copy) is so much nice than my old ones.


Then I noticed that I had done this with another two books that I own, one which I have already read ‘Empire Falls’ by Richard Russo…


And the other which I haven’t read yet but am planning on reading very soon ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’ by Peter Carey…


None of these purchases have intentionally been a swap from a British to American cover though they have all been an intentional (but only when they are 50p to £1.50 max) swap for a nicer cover but then come on some of you must do that surely? They also feel nicer, the covers and the pages themselves, which I only noticed last night. has anyone else found this to be the case or is it just me?

Also is it wrong that I have been eyeing up a copy of ‘The Blind Assassin’ by Margaret Atwood which I have already read but have seen the American version of. It has the same cover, only with the added gold stamp, but its softer and somehow much thinner which is great for the bookshelves… Or is that just greedy?


Filed under Book Thoughts

13 responses to “American Covers

  1. The Olive Kitteridge cover is interesting because the UK cover seems to have no relevance to the contents of the book. The American cover is far more appropriate.

    I have a mixture of US/UK covers on my shelves and I often find I prefer the UK cover, but I have to admit that I like the US ones better in the examples above.

    • Hmmm I do love the UK covers of some books but then any cover in any country can be hit or miss. I do like the paper more though, especially on the new books with the differing lenth pages to show its recycled paper.

  2. Olive sure did travel fast.

    You’re right about the cover for that one. The U.K. cover looks like something left over from a detective novel series.

    The American Empire Falls cover is from a television series tie-in, I think. I’m not sure what the first American cover looked like.

    I’ve been coveting several U.K. covers lately from reprint editions. Some clever on-line seller should start offering multiple editions of the same titles, so we could choose the cover we like best. Like you, I’d be willing to pay an extra 50 p.

    • She did indeed thank you so much C.B I only hope my thank you card is so swift!

      Oh I didnt know their was a TV series of Empire Falls, I can imagine that would be quite good.

  3. Nothing greedy at all. I say collect them! Its cool to have multiple covers! I, too, have been hankering for Olive. I was sad I didn’t win that book from C.B., but I guess since you ended up with it, that is OK. I will have this book in my possession at some point.

    • Oh it is a little bit greedy, but then for 50p I think that i can allow myself the occasional treat, especially if its a book that is going to be on my shelves forever.

  4. Ahaha, you’re not the only one who swaps due to covers. I do it all the time. I feel guilty sometimes, but now that I know you do it, too, then I’m feeling much better about it. Usually, though, I like the UK covers better than the US ones. Especially, like CB said, the reissues.

    I’ll be reading True History of the Kelly Gang soon, too. My cover is different from both of the above you featured. I like the UK cover of the one you featured more than the US one.

    • Oh good I feel much better knowing that other people are doing it too! Let me know when you start the True History of the Kelly gang would be nice to do a read-a-long!

  5. P.S. I found a Canadian The Blind Assassin for 75 cents but if I saw one the same cover as yours, I’d probably swap for it. Lol. How obsessive are we.

    • Oh you seenow I am going to have to look up the Canadian cover of The Blind Assasin and it might tempt me to have even more copies. Actually… I dont think bar any Du Maurier or Mitford books I would ever have two copies of a book.

  6. As Jackie has pointed out, apparently the UK cover of Olive Kitteridge has no relevance to the content. I bought mine for new at £1.75 from Borders (a promotion, not a closing down sale) so can’t complain.

    I really dislike the UK Nancy Mitford cover. I am not enamoured with some publishers’ tactics of late promoting well-loved books as chick-lit (Virago have also been guilty of this in my opinion – see Cassandra at the Wedding).

    I only have a few US copies of books, mainly bought there, and on the whole I usually prefer the UK covers and find the US copies flimsy… floppy even. I LOVE the US covers of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series though.

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