Cover art: The pinker, the better

Standing in a bookstore with shelves of paperbacks lined up neatly before me, I can tell you something with absolute certainty: my eye is professionally (er, habitually?) trained to seek out pink.

During yesterday’s LitChat, a Twitter-based chat for book lovers happening at 4 p.m. EST on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the subject was chick lit — that occasionally controversial, usually light and fun genre. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of chick lit — or women’s fiction, a term which is sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes not — and spend a good deal of my time reading authors like Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin and Meg Cabot.

Getting into what defines “chick lit” is a topic unto itself, and I’m not here to get up on my literary soapbox and debate the general merits of a subgenre I really enjoy. Some folks dig it; others don’t. That’s perfectly fine. Should those who enjoy chick lit novels be derided? Of course not — just as those who enjoy graphic novels, romance, science fiction or any other type of literature shouldn’t be criticized. We like what we like, and I don’t judge. (Too much.) We’re all reading, and that’s what’s really important here.

No, friends, I’m here today to talk about pink books — and, specifically, how quickly my eye falls to them. During LitChat, some folks mentioned a book having a pink cover is actually a major deterrent — and that they might miss a great book simply because it has a silly or “frothy” cover. I can definitely relate and see where they’re coming from, though I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum: I tend to shy away from books without pink covers. Or ones with “boring” covers, at least.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in that. Some really fun stories I’ve read had very “girly,” chick-lit covers — the ones you can spot a mile away. As readers mentioned on Twitter yesterday, the types of covers you can spot immediately: maybe with a giant, overflowing purse, or a spike-heel shoe, or a gaggle of cartoonish women gathered together. Usually the colors are bright with a healthy dash of pink thrown in there. And who do they attract? Ladies like me, apparently.

Want some pink, girly book eye candy? I have plenty to share. And I know that for every book with a “frothy” cover I love, someone else will dislike the look of a novel for just that reason. Again, no worries — I can see both sides of the issue! And just because a novel features my favorite hue doesn’t mean it’s pure froth — quite the opposite, usually. Many of the books with seemingly innocent covers have some pretty heavy content, which is another criticism of some of the cover art. False advertising, if you will.

But for me? The pinker, the better.


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21 thoughts on “Cover art: The pinker, the better

  1. It’s funny because while I detest the color pink in my real life (never wear it, don’t like it in my house on furniture, walls etc) I love it on the covers of my books as well. And all the books you’ve shown today are ones that I am automatically drawn too as well.

    From one fellow chick lit lover to another!

  2. Amen, sister! When it comes to book covers, the pinker the better!!!! I only admitted my great love of chick-lit to myself in the past couple of years, as I’ve come more into myself, but darn do I love chick-lit and even aspire to write my own someday!

    And you’re right, pink on the cover does NOT mean that it is a frothy book. For example, “After You” is an amazing book, a favourite of mine, yet the subject material is anything but frothy.

  3. Ooooh, I soo agree! I’m completely in love with pink covers too! I mean, just look at my blog – it’s pink bonanza, lol! Agreed though, just because the cover is pink, doesn’t mean that the book is pure fluff – it just means that the cover is pretty and then people should stop generalizing and give pink books a chance instead!
    Some more examples of lovely pink covers:
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7265006-spotlight
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31098.Swapping_Lives
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9423.The_Secret_Dreamworld_of_a_Shopaholic
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/574950.Calling_Romeo
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1811831.Three_in_a_Bed
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6353391-the-good-luck-girl
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6766226-i-heart-hollywood
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6304729-do-not-disturb
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6522388-forget-her-nots
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6450060-chasing-daisy
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6214120-sugar-and-spice
    And I could go on, but I think I’ll stop here! 🙂

  4. I am huge fan of chick lit as well! Can’t get enough of it! I feel like its probably one of the most publicly derided genres though so we ladies need to stick together in support of it!

  5. lol, i loved reading this! yes, i tend to be attracted to bright pink covers–i can’t help it! a lot of mine have random body parts (flying legs) and obscured/hidden faces, too.

    your book shelf looks like mine! i mean, the books on your shelf. i can recognize a bunch of the spines from my own collection. ^_^

  6. I think, it’s not on the pink but on how the pink is used. From the covers you provided, it’s attractive to me because it’s not really that frothy and I think they’re good reads. *eyes After You and Antichoke’s Heart*

  7. I love this. Because as much as we love to say that we don’t judge a book by its cover, we all kind of do at some point in time. I know I’m drawn to certain covers more than others – I’m with you on the brighter the better and I do enjoy a good splash of pink every now and then.

  8. That flowery cupcake on the cover of Sweet Love has been winking at me every time I walk past it at my B&N bookstore, which is also my workplace, so about every day. Who could resist a book called Sweet Love with a gooey pink confection on the cover? Um, not Meg!

    After my discussion with Chick-lit writer Jane Porter who told me Chick-lit was dead *choke* and had reinvented itself, I knew that YOU could not resist advertising the fact it is NOT dead but alive at Meg’s house. You go girl! Be pink and proud. I am!

    http://austenprose.com/2010/02/05/chick-lit-dead-back-to-jane-austen-folks/

  9. Pingback: Follow Friday: Megan of Write Meg Blog – Regency England:

  10. I love this post! I’m kind of in the middle about pink books : I do then to judge them by their color, but I also absolutely love them. If I see a pink book, 9 times out of 10, I’ll want to know what it’s about.

  11. I obviously completely agree and sometimes read books that aren’t so great because I just love the cute pink cover. However, all those books you have listed above? So good and so pretty!

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