It’s one of those things that sometimes feels like it happens on a whim. Either the publishers feel a certain cover isn’t working anymore, or the books get republished after the release of a long awaited sequel – but no matter what the reason, the outcome is this: your bookshelf suddenly looks out of sync.

I’m talking about this:

Temeraire series covers

Spot what’s wrong in that picture. They’re all by the same author, they’re all part of the same series…

But the covers and spines are different.

Books one to five are a delightful, beautiful, matching set. Book six is where it all goes a bit wonky. I’m looking at you Tongues of Serpents. With your misleadingly similar cover but different spine. And then books seven and eight is where everything completely goes offbeat.

Goodbye beautiful alignment of books on my bookshelf. Hello arrangement that doesn’t look like it’s all part of the same series…

Temeraire series spines

Now, I’d just like to point out that on their own I like all the covers. I have no objection to any of them because dragons. DRAGONS! But I like uniformity across my series covers.

Naomi Novik’s excellent Temeraire series isn’t the only series that does this – it’s actually more common than I would like. The epic, sprawling Discworld series has a multitude of different covers (including some gorgeous new hardback covers that I keep going into Waterstones to stare at longingly) and it feels a little like the Harry Potter series gets a new cover redesign every other year. This isn’t to mention the adult covers vs the YA covers.

But what this means is a whole series put neatly together on a shelf might not look like the same series, which distresses me a little.

What do you reckon? Am I mad or do ever-changing book covers annoy you as well?



Mappa · 27 January, 2017 at 12:45 am

I’ve got the same problem, I got the whole series from del Rey, expecting them to all be the same. But after 5 the covers are changing. 6 and 7 look the same and 8 and 9 are just different altogether 🙁
Is there any publisher that released all with the same cover and spine? IT always annoys me when they arent the same…

    InkyBumblebee · 4 February, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Urgh, it drives me mad too. I’m not sure if they’ve released the Temeraire series with all the same covers yet though – such a shame too as I loved the design of the early books :-/

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