T5W | Favourite Book Spines


Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is a Freebie which means we get to invent our own topic or to pick a previous one from the Top 5 Wednesday archives. I decided to go way back to August 2014 for this one and I’m going to talk about my Top 5 Favourite Book Spines.

As a disclaimer, this will not include any book spines that are a publisher’s edition of a particular series. For example, Penguin consistently knock it out of the park with their recognisable cover and spine designs and they have many ranges of classics which are instantly recognisable and beautiful in their simplicity- e.g. Penguin English Library, Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions, Penguin Clothbounds, Penguin Great IdeasPenguin Little Black Classics, and their recently released Penguin Modern series. Like I said, they are consistently excellent at cover (and particular spine) design. But this post isn’t about them, this is about all the other beautiful spine designs that I love…

(I also do hereby apologise for my terrible photos which completely lack white balance and will not do any of these spines justice!)

5. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho


Ok mostly I enjoy the cover as a whole when you lay out the jacket flat but the point still stands that the gold foiling embossed against the black background is very eye-catching and stunning. I haven’t read this book so I couldn’t tell you if the spine matches the content but it makes it seem quite royal, decadent, and luxurious somehow.

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


The beauty of the spine lies in how it reacts when titled – the background image of Saint-Malo is limited to blues and greens with a pearlescent coating over the top of it all. The stark white of the horizontally orientated text on the spine makes the book instantly recognisable. Teal is also my favourite colour so I definitely have a soft spot for this design because of that!

3. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski


These books have a simple enough spine design but I really like its simplicity and how the typography has been executed, particularly on the first two books. It’s simple but I love the way that ‘The Winner’s’ of each title is smaller and (in the case of the first two volumes) encased in the first letter of the final word in each title. I just think that is such a simple way to incorporate the text and do something interesting with it that is eye-catching primarily because not a lot of spine designs bother to do that kind of thing.

2. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio


I can’t fully explain my love for the full cover design of this book, aside from to say it is stunning and the use of scrawled handwriting seems to fit quite aptly with the subject matter of a book wherein a group of young Shakespearean actors at a prestigious Conservatory becomes involved in some kind of crime à la the next book on my list…

1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt


If you gave me hours of your time, I could not explain why this spine is my favourite that I’ve seen in my many years of being a reader. It is SO simple that it almost seems careless. The text is just a pretty standard Serif font, probably Times New Roman, the default font of Microsoft Word for so many years due to its simplicity and legibility. But there’s something about using this standard font that suggests the book has gravitas and that the name alone can carry the simple design. Plus, how many times do you see a white spine on a fiction book? It’s become something of ~a thing~ in non-fiction lately, but not so much fiction, so this definitely stands out amongst the other spines in the fiction section of a bookshop. I just love its clean simplicity.

That’s all for now folks – those were my Top 5 favourite spines on books. What are you favourite spines on books? Do you strongly agree/disagree with my choices?
Be sure to link me to your Top 5 Wednesday post if you have one- I’d love to read it!

Goodreads Twitter Instagram

6 responses to “T5W | Favourite Book Spines”

    • I agree! And I’m such a sucker for swirl patterns in general so I fell in love with this cover design IMMEDIATELY.


  1. I almost did this topic haha. Great choices! Oh my gosh Sorcerer to the Crown is gorgeous <3 If We Were Villains is all around one of my favorite cover designs, too, and I looove looking at the spine on my shelf because it really stands out. I don't really like the Winners covers, but those spines are very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww thanks! With If We Were Villains I paid the extra to get the US hardback shipped over to the UK so I could have it in all its glory because, as nice as the simple UK paperback is, it’s nothing compared to the cover design on the hardback!

      I dislike the actual cover of the Winner’s trilogy because of the whole ‘YA girl in a dress’ trope that it plays into, but I really enjoy the use of typography in the design and inside, on the chapter headers too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wholeheartedly agree! It’s silly but I’m actually so scared of actually reading the book because I’m pretty sure I will love it given its synopsis so I have a constant bit of worry like ‘what if it ends up disappointing me??’. Until I finally brave reading it, I’ll continue to stare at the very pretty cover!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: