Hunting for British Covers

This is a guest post from Danielle Bourgon. Danielle is an educator, theatre artist, and book lover from Toronto, Ontario. When she’s not drinking tea and reading on the couch, she’s recommending books to her students, friends, and family. She’s a feminist, a nerd, and a baker. Oh. And she has Hogwarts tattooed on her arm.


Last year I got a chance to spend some time in London and Edinburgh. I love visiting bookstores when I travel to new cities, and this trip was no different. It was also when I discovered my latest book-lover quirk: I deeply love book covers from the United Kingdom.

We were browsing in a bookstore in the West End, waiting for the doors to open at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, when something caught the corner of my eye. A gorgeous image of the night sky and a woman silhouetted while standing on the top of the hill. I was instantly drawn to it. After reading the blurb on the back, I got a weird feeling of deja vu. Being the nerd that I am, I pulled out my phone and looked up the title on Goodreads.

I was shocked to discover that not only was the book already on my TBR shelf, it was high up on the list. In fact, I had almost bought it to read on the plane for that very trip. Now you might be wondering how exactly I could not recognize a book I was so excited about reading. The answer is simple. The UK cover was significantly different than the North American cover. I mean a huge difference. Just look. (The U.S. cover on the left; the U.K. cover on the right.)

I, of course, know the old adage about books and covers and judging. Frankly, I’ve never really believed in that one. It’s never prevented me from reading a book I’m truly interested in, but it has definitely made me hesitate.

Back to the London bookstore. As I looked around the rest of the store I saw more and more beautiful cover art. Reading the titles I realised that there were more and more examples of books that I was feeling more drawn to in this wonderland of new covers. Just look at these works of art.

british covers

This discovery was both great and terrifying. Suddenly, I was faced with the prospect of needing extra suitcases for all of the books I would have to buy, because they were so much more beautiful than back home.

Lucky for me, I’ve got a wonderful network of online book friends, and when I shared my shock and excitement about the UK covers I’d seen, they helped me find North American sources for my new obsession. Websites like Book Depository and Abe Books will sell you books with covers from around the world. Go forth and conquer the international book buying world, my friends.

Ever heard the story of how Andrew Carnegie transformed the American public library system? Have a listen to the latest episode of Annotated:
VIEW COMMENTS