Under the Dust Jacket

Last week we talked about the pros and cons of hardcovers and paperbacks. Let’s talk more about hardcovers. Modern hardcovers almost always come with a dust jacket. The front has the cover art, the title, the author, maybe a tag line or a blurb. The back usually has more blurbs. The inside flaps contain the summary and author information.

But forget the dust jacket. I want to talk about what’s underneath. Not the art that’s sometimes printed on the inside of the dust jacket, although that’s awesome too. I mean the actual hardcover.

No one ever talks about it, but under the dust jacket is even more cover design. It’s often a simple, classic cover. The color, sometimes two colors, usually matches the cover art.  Sometimes it’s glossy with an image or design printed onto it. Sometimes it’s matte with a design imprinted into it. Sometimes there’s an image or design in foil. The information is usually contained to the spine and limited to the basics.

I love looking under the dust jackets of hardcovers to see what’s underneath. Is that weird? Who cares. It’s exciting to find out what extra design is under that initial cover, something you can’t see in the paperback. I love the classic, simple look of a bare hardcover. How much design and personality is presented in such a minimal way.

Do you ever look under your dust jackets?