From Tots to Teens, StarMag
I'M still trying to come to terms with a fur-covered edition of The Wild Things, the novelization (by Dave Eggers) of the movie script for Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. Whatever next! OK, so this isn't the first time publishers have decided to cover a book in faux fur. An edition of Isobelle Carmody's Little Fur was covered in blue fur. And Little Fur Family (note the similarity in titles - I guess the marketing department had no choice, really) by Margaret Wise Brown was published in an edition covered in rabbit skin.
Neither is, in my opinion, looks as nasty as Wild Things. I find the eyes peering out of the mass of fur particularly creepy. Much better would have been a book shaped like one of the wild things. However, I guess that would have meant monster-shaped pages - a headache for the typesetter or layout artist, or whoever it is who arranges text on the pages of books.
AbeBooks.com's page on unusual bindings shows 30 books whose covers are made from various non-paper materials including shark skin, brass, ivory, snake skin, horsehair, silver and turquoise, rubber, asbestos and mother of pearl. The most expensive unsold book listed is a 1611 edition of the King James Bible, bound in copper. Its price - US$119,000 (RM418,817). In light of this, I suppose it's worth investing in the furry Wild Things, just in case. It's US$18.48 (RM65) from Amazon.
Still on the subject of book covers, Justine Larbalestier, author of the brilliant Magic or Madness series, recently succeeded in getting her publishers to agree to a different cover for her latest book, Liar. The book is about a young short-haired black girl, but the advance reading copies showed a long-haired white teen on the jacket. A spokesman for Larbalestier's publisher, Bloomsbury, said, in Publishers Weekly, that this image "was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator's complex psychological makeup" and was not "a calculated decision to mask the character's ethnicity". Really?
Here in Malaysia, "pan-Asian" models are preferred in advertising. Many businesses go the whole hog and choose caucasian models. Most Malaysians prefer European looks, you see, and it stands to reason that they would then be more attracted to products sold by caucasians than models of their own race. I think the Liar cover featuring the white teen would be more popular here than the new, more accurate one.
Finally, has anyone actually bought Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte) because it's the favourite book of Bella Swan, the heroine of the Twilight series? Or, has anyone bought it thanks to its new Twilight-inspired cover? Once upon a time, I chose to buy an edition of A Room with a View because its cover featured a movie still of Julian Sands and Helena Bonham Carter. So, I totally understand why a teenager might see (and buy) the new edition Wuthering Heights as Twilight merchandise. However, in my opinion, not even a diamond-encrusted, gold-tooled cover would change the fact that Wuthering Heights is a terrible book. I would buy it if it came with a cover made from a blood-stained window-pane though. Wet earth, a coffin and a severed arm would be a plus. Of course.