Judging Countries By Their Covers: US vs UK Book Jackets

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a country by the kind of covers it puts on its books? We’ve always found the cover changes between US and UK editions of the same books pretty interesting – they must be reflective of our different cultures in some way incomprehensible to us. After all, book jacket designers are trying to capture the attention and imagination of their target populace, so it’s fascinating to see what the experts think will attract a Brit versus what they think might attract an American. Inspired by the annual US vs UK book cover comparison of Rooster contenders over at The Millions, we decided to make a list of our own, comparing the covers of our favorite books from last year — and, just for fun, a few of our favorite books from years past. Click through to see the comparisons and our picks for the winners, and let us know what you think in the comments!

C, by Tom McCarthy

The UK cover is certainly arresting, and speaks to the cosmic thread in the novel, but the US cover is one of the best and most original we’ve seen this year, incorporating McCarthy’s fixation on the duality of silence and constant connectivity as well as capturing the sepia-colored mood of much of the book. Winner: US