I have a dear friend who I trade books with. He occasionally just brings me books and I do the same for him. Our homes are right next to each other, with just a field between us. We spend a lot of time of time there and vice versa. Sometimes one of my boys runs over after school to hang out. Upon returning, he tosses a bag on the counter, saying, “There’s a book in there from Frank.” Sometimes it’s one being returned, other times it’s one Frank picked up in his travels.
Frank likes all kinds of books, most especially historical fiction. He is retired, so he has a nice amount of reading time and he is a fast reader, so he tears through books at an astonishing pace.
Something fun about being friends with readers is that you become exposed to all kinds of books. Not only books you haven’t heard of, but also subject matter you might not have looked twice at. When a book comes highly recommended from a trusted source, even if you might have not otherwise been interested, you (or at least I am) are more apt to give it a try.
This is where the above books come in. The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk are two of these such books. Frank loves books about wartime. His brain is a history book, especially Civil War history. These two books, however are about WWII and they go together. He loves these books and brought me the red and blue editions below.
Aside from being mass market editions, which aren’t my favorite due to being difficult to hold open, the covers are, well, not amazing.
I’m not that much of a snob that I won’t read something just because the cover sucks, but if a better cover were to exist and I thought would be keeping these books, I might be tempted to buy them.
I’m always thankful for books. When Frank gave me these, I thought, they aren’t cute, but so what. I gladly placed them on my bookshelf and went about my day.
A few weeks later I was at my local used book shop. Near the back they have a section where they keep books they have many copies of— this is ideal for people buying for a book club selection. Upon browsing, I came across these:
First off these are trade editions. I think book people naturally prefer trade to mass market, in fact I have never met someone who prefers the opposite. These books are big, TWOW is just under 900 pages and WAR is just over 1300 pages. No matter which edition you choose-these are big books. If holding or toting around a large book concerns you, the e-edition of these books would be the best choice in my opinion.
I think the above editions are beautiful and I had to have them. As of yet, I have not read them, but I plan to. Below is the Amazon synopsis for both books:
The Winds of War
• Wouk’s spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events, as well as all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II, as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war’s maelstrom
War and Remembrance continues this sweeping epic of WWII •
So in the grand scheme of things, does the cover matter to you? It’s the same story in both books after all. A good book is a good book, and a beautiful cover can’t make up for a boring story or a poor writing style.
If you give me the option to choose a better cover, well that’s a whole different story.
Happy Monday, Bookworms.
“The world belongs to those who read.” – Rick Holland