10 of the Worst Book Covers of All Time

09/13/2013 10:00 AM |

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Yesterday brought the news that noted polymath James Franco achieved yet another literary laurel. Now you might be asking yourself, What is even left for James Franco to accomplish? He’s done it all! But you’d be wrong. He hadn’t done it all. He hadn’t been on the cover of a newly released edition of a William Faulkner novel. But now he has! So now James Franco has done everything.

The reason that Franco is on the cover of As I Lay Dying is because he directed, wrote and stars (as Darl) in the upcoming film adaptation of Faulkner’s modernist classic. And while I understand what the publisher’s intention was, and I’m sure that there’ll be a real run on Faulkner now that James Franco is on the cover, I can’t help but be a little annoyed . Why am I annoyed? I guess partly because I’m an overly critical, elitist asshole. I mean, I highly doubt that it will get more people reading Faulkner. In fact, I think that it might actively turn some people away from Faulkner. But so, as long as I’m in an annoyed, asshole-y mood, I figured I’d round up a bunch of other incongruous covers of beloved books and tear them apart for being terrible representations of the pages they protect. Because while, figuratively, it might not be a great idea to judge a book by its cover, sometimes it is really hard not to literally judge a book by its cover. And it would be a shame if anyone judged these books by these particular, cringe-worthy covers. Really. They’re the worst.

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