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15 Rad Reader-Designed Covers for Classic Books

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

While we at the Riot take some time off to rest and catch up on our reading, we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Monday, January 6th.

This post originally ran June 6, 2013.

One of the coolest things I saw at Book Expo America was a project called Recovering the Classics, which is a collaboration of the Creative Action Network and DailyLit. These awesome folks identified 50 of the best books that are in the public domain (meaning they’re not longer under copyright) and invited readers to design their own new covers. Then they make the newly covered books available for purchase as ebooks or as paperbacks printed on the Espresso Book Machine at Harvard Bookstore. This project? It’s turning cool up to eleven.

Let’s take a look at some of the new covers, shall we? These are some of my favorites–there are TONS to explore at Recovering the Classics.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, cover by Roberlan Borges

brothers karamazov cover by roberlan borges



The Collected Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, cover by Adam S. Doyle

collected works of edgar allan poe cover by adam s doyle



The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, cover by Corbet and Curfman

count of monte cristo cover by corbet and curfman



Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, cover by Luis Prado

Frankenstein cover luis prado



Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, cover by Louise Norman

heart of darkness cover by louise norman



Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, cover by Ashley Cale

jane eyre modern cover by ashley cale



The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, cover by Wade Greenberg


jungle cover by wade greenberg



Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, cover by Lia Marcoux

little women cover by lia marcoux



The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, cover by Elena Ospina

metamorphosis cover by elena ospina



Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, cover by Black Dwarf Designs


moby dick cover by black dwarf designs



I couldn’t decide between these two takes on Persuasion by Jane Austen.

This one’s by Heather Main.

persuasion cover by heather main


And this one is by Kathryn Delaney.

persuasion cover by kathryn delaney



The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, cover by MrFurious


scarlet letter cover by mr furious


The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, cover by Jon Cain


Time Machine cover by Jon Cain



And another H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, cover by Kjell Roger Ringstad



war of the worlds cover by kjell roger ringstad



Visit Recovering the Classics to see more awesome designs, buy books, and contribute your own new covers. Tell me: which do you like best?

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