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Blobs have taken over our book covers

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Like many things, the “blob” takeover didn’t go unnoticed at first.

Sure, you can see blobs here and there, but it didn’t bother me too much. I didn’t even know his name then. He was more than happy to let Blob handle it, as long as he maintained his own business.

Then one day you look up and suddenly there are blobs everywhere.

Blob is a term used to describe the current trend in book cover design, as RE Holley explains it to Print magazine: “

You’ve probably seen book blobs like “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle, “Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters, and “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid.

Looking at the lists of books selected by Reese’s Book Club and Read with Jenna, at least a third or more of the covers are either blobs or clearly influenced by blobs.

I suspect book designers around the world are frustrated by this trend. You can imagine the editor communicating the vision for the cover.

It’s one thing that blobs are the dominant style in newly published books, but recently I’ve seen online the gem of Geraldine Brooks’ novel “March,” and the cover has been retroactively blobbed. I got

In fact, all of Brooks’ backlist titles are blobbed using, say, the color at the lighter end of the color wheel.

As Hawley points out, there’s nothing inherently wrong with blob-based book covers, and in fact some of them are very good at combining shapes and colors to create images that aren’t apparent at first glance. Clever. An example is Charmaine Wilkerson’s “Black Cake,” in which a woman’s face is hidden in a blob.

The updated cover for “March” is actually an abstract illustration of cotton plants in the foreground, set against the sky.

But I can’t help but think something was lost with the blob.

The paperback cover of ‘March’, which I own, probably mentions ‘Mr. I am leaving my family behind.

The original cover evokes the atmosphere of Mr. March’s living persona and novel, with a mix of melancholy and hopefulness. The blotted version looks like every other book.

And that’s really the point of the blob. Blobs have a distinct advantage when it comes to getting noticed in small format photos on social media. Readers who have been exposed to blobs many times before are ready to recognize what they mean. These are so-called ‘book club’ books and are aimed primarily at women, as women often buy and read the books.

As Hawley also points out, book covers often go through trend cycles, with “flat illustrations” (think Sophie Kinsella’s book or the original cover of Where’d You Go Bernadette) appearing in the 2010s. It shouldn’t be because of the appearance of Stuck on the blob forever.

I hope not. Hopefully.

Personally, I like that the cover of the book seems to surprise me as much as the content.

John Warner is the author of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities.

Twitter @biblioracle

Book Recommendations from Biblioracle

John Warner tells you what to read based on the last 5 books you’ve read

1. “Nest” Cynthia Daprice Sweeney

2. “House of Spirits” Isabelle Allende

3. “American Cartels: Inside the Battle to Destroy the Opioid Industry” Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz

4. “Wait for a reply” Dan Chaon

5. “The Director” David Ignatius

— Dan H., Chicago

Looking at the scope of this list, you just have to give Dan a good book and he’ll love it.

1. “Lillian boxfish walking” Kathleen Rooney

2. “The Lager Queen of Minnesota” J. Ryan Stradal

3. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” Anthony Doerr

4. “The Trees” percival everett

5. “Nightingale” Christine Hannah

— Susan P., Glen Ellyn

Susan will enjoy Barbara Pym’s combination of warmth and sharp wit in perhaps her most famous book, Excellent Woman.

1. “Lincoln Highway” Amor Towles

2. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” Anthony Doerr

3. “committed” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

4. “Dopesick” Beth Macy

5. “Good Father” Noah Hawley

— Benjamin T., Chicago

I think Benjamin is a strong candidate for the Jackson Brody series starting with Kate Atkinson’s “Case History”.

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