I am indebted to rare book website Bookride.com for their collection of some of the world’s most boring book covers.
My favourite is the one on the left, mainly because of its unintended air of mystery. Despite an extensive Google search I have been unable to find out who Gilbert Anderson MNCP is, or was, let alone what there must be a reason for.*
Then again maybe the bespectacled man is not Gilbert Anderson MNCP, in which case maybe the author is postulating that there must be a reason for whoever it is – which is pretty bloody mindblowing.
Either way there is a signed copy of the book on Ebay, although at £19.99 I can probably continue live in ignorance.
In fairness to the designers, they were clearly working with some of the world’s most boring books.
But this does not excuse the utter lack of creativity in evidence on the covers of Consumption and Depression in Gertude Stein, Louis Zukovsky and Ezra Pound; The History of the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company 1882-1957; and The Treatment of Final Vowels in Neo-Babylonian.
My sympathies, naturally, are with the author. Imagine how crushed K.A. Gray must have felt when, having slaved for months over Understand Your Tortoise, he or she was presented with the dismal effort pictured right.
Anyway I mention all this because I’ve just been sent the covers of my forthcoming Bug House books, and I think they’re great – so thanks to those clever people at Constable & Robinson and to the designers who could obviously be bothered to take the time.
* Do you know who Gilbert Anderson MNCP is? Perhaps you are Gilbert Anderson MNCP. If so, please let us know.