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~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder

30/06/2012

Classics getting a makeover

I just came across this article in the New York Times - To Lure ‘Twilight’ Teenagers, Classic Books Get Bold Looks


Because the old classics are public domain, any publisher can release a version of one, with the content untouched, but the cover redesigned.

We all know that Twilight made Wuthering Heights and some other classics re-famous through Bella name-dropping them as her favourite books. I thought that was awesome as I don't really care why (or even what) people read - just as long as they do.

And my initial opinion (which remains even now) - Those covers are stunning! I am actually half tempted to buy them, so their strategy could definitely be working!

The traditional covers also make young protagonists look much older than their true age, while the newer ones portray characters like Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” as the young adults they actually are, making them more appealing to young readers. 

On the other side though - to quote the article again: If kids want to read ‘Emma,’ they want to buy it in the adult section, not the teen section,” she said. “Kids don’t want to feel like they’re being manipulated.”

3 comments:

  1. I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand, I love the covers and think they're gorgeous. I think the idea of revamping the covers is great. Especially if they sell them at a reduced price, which I've seen lots of publishers do. What annoys me if the idea of publishers wanting to lure Twilight teenagers into reading classic. As if that's what they should be reading. Don't get me wrong, I detest Twilight. But that doesn't mean it's wrong for people to be reading it. Sorry this had turned into a semi rant. I just can't stand when the so called "literary" crowd thinks they can judge people on what they read.

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    1. I'm totally with you on that rant (though I love Twilight ^_^), but I don't think that's what's going on here. I think that after Twilight got a few of the classics refamous, publishers simply saw an opportunity to make more money - they're not sending out any negative vibes to new YA, simply just making the old books more accessible, thusly making the teenagers today aware of their existence.

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    2. Okay, I am slightly placated :)

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