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to re-cover or not to re-cover. September 22, 2009

Posted by Katie in library work.

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks at my library. After summer reading draws to a close, every two years I weed our YA collection. We have a small section, and I need to make sure that the books that are on our shelves are in good condition and are being read.

Sometimes that means replacing paperback copies of well-loved books, sometimes that means getting rid of series that aren’t read anymore. (This year I had to get rid of all the Christopher Pike books. It was hard. But they hadn’t checked out since 2003 and six years is a long time to sit on a shelf.)

Books in good condition get put in our book sale. Books in bad condition get thrown out.

This year I saved some of my YA budget to replace old covers with new copies. A timely decision on my part, I also saw an article in School Library Journal discussing student cover preference.

Below, we’ve got some of the covers that were replaced. Old ones on the left, new ones on the right.






So, it’s conflicting opinions. They have issues with drawn covers, but they also sometimes prefer drawn/illustrated covers.

I’m pretty sure that while the article brings up a lot of good tips for covers, it also just comes to down to the simple question of, “Does this cover look dated?”

A completely different cover story? My Teen Book Club has heard me pitch “Suite Scarlett” a lot in the last few months, but they didn’t take it from the book talk pile. Oddly enough, when we voted on books for book club (using the paperback cover) it was the number one pick.


So, leave me a note. Tell me about a cover you hate or a cover you love. I’ll love to hear your thoughts.



1. Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books - September 25, 2009

It’s interesting, because the old/new covers aren’t consistent in photo shoot vs. drawn vs. symbol (in the case of SUITE SCARLETT)

I’d say the cover I don’t like is DEENIE. I generally like a retro look, but I can see why it wouldn’t be appealing to teens. And, this cover looks like it might have been the edition I read 30+ years ago!

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