So I generally buy American editions because I’m American, so why not? But sometimes you just need to fill your bookshelves with the prettiest books possible, which occasionally means ordering from the UK. So below are five books that I chose to buy in the UK edition because I love their covers.
As a side note for anyone who’s wondering, I tend to order my UK editions through Book Depository. They offer free shipping worldwide, though keep in mind that it’s not fast shipping. The most recent books I ordered (and that inspired this post) took almost three weeks to get here, but I think it was worth the wait!
Oh, and I’m not counting any UK editions of Harry Potter or Jane Austen’s works since I collect those, as opposed to specifically choosing the UK cover over the US cover.
The UK editions will be featured below on the left, while the American covers will be on the right.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
So buying Nevernight didn’t so much stem from a desire to buy the prettiest book as it did from the fact that I hate the American cover of this book, which I guess means I kind of misled you by saying this is a list of pretty covers. But the rest of these books are pretty, I promise!
The American cover is just really creepy and I had no desire to have it on my shelves, plus apparently UK and Australian publishers tend to publish the paperback at the same time as the hardcover? I had no idea, and I’m super jealous since I tend to prefer paperbacks but hate waiting a year or more for them to come out, so buying the UK edition of Nevernight (and Godsgrave) was definitely the way to go.
I do like this cover, though, because of all of the intricate details woven into the drawing of the crow. If you look closely, there’s a lot to unpack! And it extends across the spine and the back of the book, which is pretty neat.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I bought the UK edition of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy partly because I also dislike the American covers of these books, but mostly because I really like the UK editions, especially of the first book in the trilogy. I just think they’re much more representative of the stories, and I love the detail on the first book with the handprint on the door and the notebook scattered on the ground.
Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be finishing this series as I struggled so much with the second book, but still definitely a case where the UK covers are much better than the American ones.
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
There was no way I was ever going to buy the American copy of The Final Empire when the UK cover is this pretty! I just love how simple this is with the slight blue detail, and I really like how it’s carried across the entire trilogy. Plus the American cover is kind of ugly, so there’s that.
I also I think it’s really cool how they used the same style but different colors for the various series by Sanderson. It’s a really nice touch, and these books are stunning on the shelves. I’ve only bought The Final Empire so far and thought it was just ok, so I’m going to read a few of his books from the library before I order any more UK editions.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I decided to pick up Rebecca after Rincey at Rincey Reads named it one of her favorite books of 2017, but since I knew it was an older book, I decided to poke around a bit and order the prettiest edition I could find.
And as it turns out, that’s the UK edition pictured here. I just really like the use of font and the gothic feel that the cover gives off, plus it’s a great color scheme. I’ll admit, the Americans set the bar pretty low with a series of really ugly covers for this book (the one pictured seems to be the most common edition these days and isn’t as terrible as some of the others), but the UK edition is so pretty that it’s making me really excited to read this book, and I’ll probably read it a lot sooner than if I had bought one of the American editions.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I guess The Song of Achilles is the only book on this list where I don’t think the American cover is really ugly, though I have to admit it’s nothing special. But the Bloomsbury Modern Classics collection was literally made to appeal to people looking for pretty covers, so I’ve been eyeing them for ages.
Most of the books in the collection I’m not interested in reading or owning copies of (except for The Kite Runner, which I already have and don’t want a second copy of), but I’ve been wanting to read The Song of Achilles for a while, so when Rincey put this in her list of 2017 favorites as well, I finally decided to go for it and get this gorgeous edition. It’s even prettier in person than I thought, and I can’t wait to read this book!
Bonus round: There are definitely a few other covers that have tempted me to order from the UK, though I haven’t worked up the nerve to order from anyone other than Book Depository just yet.
I had my eye on this gorgeous edition of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor because I really like the UK cover and it had these beautiful blue sprayed edges.
I’ve also seriously wanted some of the special editions that various UK publishers have put out for Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff and Iron Gold by Pierce Brown because they both also had blue and black sprayed edges, respectively.
On a bit of a side note since this was exclusive to the London-based subscription box Illumicrate and not exclusive to a book retailer, I really wanted this edition of Wonder Woman: Warbringer with the red sprayed edges.
Seriously, the US needs to step up its sprayed edges game! It’s just such a nice touch.
There you have it! Five times I went out of my way to buy the UK cover over the US one. Have you ever gone out of your way to buy a book cover from another country? Do you tend to prefer US or UK covers? Let me know in the comments!