Tag Archives: modern

Publishers Modernizing Classics’ Cover Art to Entice YA Readers

Thanks to Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, young adult fiction is more popular than it’s been in quite some time. To lure some of these teen readers into the classics, publishers are re-designing the covers of classic books like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

According to this article by The New York Times, it’s a mindfreak that seems to be working. The new covers are brighter, handwritten, and more youthful. Some are even directly inspired by the Twilight series, with a black background and single red rose.

Many publishers are doing it, and most can since many of the novels are in the public domain — meaning anyone and everyone has free access to them.

According to the article, a number of businesses are selling classic novels now more than ever. It’s a plus for bookstores and even teachers who are happy to see young people reading older books. But of course, there are some bookstores that aren’t seeing much of a change in sales — even teens who prefer the originals.

“If kids want to read ‘Emma,’ they want to buy it in the adult section, not the teen section,” [Elaine Petrocelli, who owns the bookstore Book Passage] said.

“Kids don’t want to feel like they’re being manipulated.” […] For classics like that and “Pride and Prejudice,” [15-year-old Tess Jagger-Wells] said she preferred her hardcover editions with their flowery covers to the more modern versions.

“It’s fun to have the originals in your house to look at and show people,” she said. “It kind of goes with the feeling of the classic as something that’s treasured, something that you want to keep. The new covers make the books look like cheap romance novels.”

Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned covers because I think that’s part of what makes a classic classic. But I’m also past the YA fiction age. What do you guys think?

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Is Suzanne Collins’ Writing Style the Future?

Suzanne Collins has captivated readers all over the world with The Hunger Games trilogy. But was it the content of the books or her writing style that made the books so monumental?

According to this Huffington Post blog post, blogger Jeff Goins suggested that Collins’ writing style is the successful writing style of the future: short and concise, but also edgy. But blogger Lev Raphael argues that if this style is the future of writing, it will only bring on a rush of bestseller copycats.

What he’s arguing for, whether he knows it or not, is myriad knock-offs of The Hunger Games, books written to what might seem like a formula, or has been turned into one.

The result would be a raft of terrible books, as well as disappointed authors who think, “My books is just as good as The Hunger Games, why can’t I sell it?” or “Why isn’t anyone buying my book?” Hell, that’s probably going to happen anyway, without his encouragement.

I agree with Raphael to some extent; of course, bestseller copycats would be produced. And of course, they won’t all be  as good as the original bestsellers.

However, as a person who reads both modern and classic books, I agree that the books of yesteryear are much more difficult to read. The modern ones — like The Hunger Games — are made for those with shorter attention spans who have less time to analyze, and I think it’s safe to say that is almost everyone these days. There’s something to be said for a concise writing style, even though it may not be so eloquent. What do you think? Is Collins’ style the future? Or will writing with flowery language continue to thrive?

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