Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at The Girl Who Read Too Much. Based on the theme of the week, you pick one book and post the original cover, the cover(s) from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. If you would like to participate or find out more, check out the Goodreads page!
Because National Book Lover’s Day was two days ago, this week’s theme is to choose a book that every book lover should read. I don’t think there is one book that every book lover should read. But since I have to choose one, I think it should be a book centered around book issues like censorship, literacy, or a book coming to life.
Though I have not read it, I think every book lover, including myself, should read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. My understanding of the novel, based on its Goodreads synopsis, is that it’s about censorship through book burning. That synopsis reminds me of “The Obsolete Man” episode of The Twilight Zone. Censorship at its most basic level is the suppression of free speech, of ideas. As book lovers, I think we should be aware of the consequences of censorship and work against it.
I know the novel was first published in 1953, but I did not expect to see a recognizable cover. I thought it would be like the old first editions of the first ten Nancy Drew books with the title and author on a solid color background. I’ve seen the cover before. It makes sense now to see a man on fire like the fireman protagonist. I like the metaphor of the fire destroying mankind as well as the books, but I don’t know if that’s intended.
United States Covers
Fahrenheit 451 was originally published in the U.S., so many covers have been made over the decades. These are just six covers I found on Goodreads. A good number of them resemble the original cover with the man and/or books on fire. The only one that seems to depart from this is the one in the middle of the top row. I like the graphic, and I like that it’s different.
While this is not my favorite cover and it’s not from my country, it’s worth mentioning that this cover actually matches the genres the novel fits in. It actually looks like a science fiction and dystopian novel.
These are my favorite covers. The cover on the right is my favorite of the American covers, and it’s tempted me to buy it. I like that it hints at book burning by making the book a matchbox. I seriously consider buying it every time I see it at the bookstore. The middle cover, the Turkish cover, is unique for using actual matches. It stands out among covers for that. The cover on the left, one of the many Arabic covers, is cool for creating a haunting effect, and it creates an atmosphere of evil around book burning. I love all of these covers.
Least Favorite Covers
So far, I think the thing that bothers me the most about covers is when they’re irrelevant to the story. The leftmost cover is from Brazil. My reaction: What does a leafy lizard smoking a cigar that has letters all over it have to do with book burning? The second cover from the left is from a Spanish translation of the novel. It’s dull, and I don’t like the fires burning in the brain and eye. The next cover, which is from Thailand, is entirely irrelevant. Nothing on that cover has anything to do with the story inside. Why does the stack of white papers(?) have a pink ‘X’ around it? Nothing on this cover tells me a single thing about the novel inside. The last cover is from the U.K. The insect on the pile of bones doesn’t strike me as part of the story. Neither that nor the stylized name of the author is appealing to me.
Which book do you think every book lover should read? What do you think of the covers of Fahrenheit 451?