Quirk E. Cat Advice Column #5: Aesthetic? What aesthetic?
Editor’s Note: In an effort to keep Quirk E. Cat from napping at his desk, we have assigned him to Advice Column duty. We apologize in advance.
Dear Quirk E. Cat,
I’m writing to you today with the most conceited of quandaries: my favorite book series changed their cover design concept half-way through. The trilogy is complete, but there’s an uneven look to my bookshelves. The first installment of the series is neutrals and trepidation – serif lettering in an unfamiliar font. The other two novels are sleek and vibrant, shouting from the rooftops in their sanserif lettering. When mixed in with the rest of my books, the differences are unnoticeable. But I’m a product of my generation, loaning my library not just to friends but also to countless strangers through a perfectly curated Instagram aesthetic. The simple solution is to buy an updated edition of that first book – one with a cover that matches the others. But if I do that for this series, I’ll be tempted to error correct every mismatched series of books I own until I collapse under a pile of my own books. Help me, Quirk E. Cat. You’re my only hope.
I want to thank you for writing and for teaching me a thing or two about publishing. You see, before reading your letter I had no idea that some publishers change the cover concept of a series midway through. And I know we’ve definitely never done it here…
Still, my advice would be the same: embrace it. You own books with the original cover – before the series was even a series. You’re an early adopter and that’s something to celebrate. So while it may not be the most perfect picture – believe me, I know the struggles of color balancing two different ends of the rainbow through Instagram filters – you’re communicating a much deeper message. You’re letting the world know that you embraced the series early, that you’ve been a fan from day one. And doesn’t that also make you a product of your generation? Doesn’t that brand you as a millennial who is enthusiastic and unapologetic? Doesn’t that make you a tastemaker?
So hang onto those first pressings – those series openers published with such trepidation and care. And shout your literary devotion from the rooftops. And if you do decide to buy new editions of all your mismatched tomes, be sure to pass along your original copies to friends who will truly appreciate the characters and worlds you love so deeply. Because who doesn’t love a good LITTERary hand-me-down?
Quirk E. Cat