After looking through one of those blogs that is dedicated to bad book covers (and seeing a few that I’ve read as well as the one I am currently reading), my husband pointed out that we had some books with covers that were quite possibly worse than any of those other covers (personally, I think that is debatable although I think they are right up there among the worst). So he took a photo of them, which should be clicked to enlarge and fully appreciate the awfulness.

I’ve read these once years ago and actually liked them to my surprise since I did indeed judge them by their covers, but since my husband has read them far more than I have, I asked him to write up some commentary more intelligible than “Why?”:

These are, I think, the worst covers of any books in our collection. First is the bizarre-if-intriguing choice of pen name. Then one inevitably notices the skateboarding blonde that appears on all three covers in the series, though it should be pointed out that there is no actual skateboarding blonde in the books…I’m not entirely sure where that came from. Of course, you can’t miss the dragons, two of which I suspect are mainly Crayolavores. In the actual story those two are supposed to be gold dragons, so the cover is off base here too. Disturbingly, the one item on any of the three covers that actually bears any resemblance to the story inside is Sherlock Holmes standing on a street corner in modern New York City. The interesting thing about these covers are that the quality of the book is inversely proportional to the ridiculousness of the cover.

It can be difficult not to judge a book by its cover at times, or at the very least avoid reading it in public. I was actually going to start Catherine Asaro’s Diamond Star a little while ago and ended up putting it back on the shelf because I had a dentist appointment the following day and needed something to read while waiting… And I just could not bring myself to be seen reading a book with such a horrifying cover in public (it is one of the Baen books, infamous for its cover art).

Once my husband asked me what he should read and I handed him a copy of one of my favorite books ever, Transformation by Carol Berg. Before I even handed it to him, I told him to ignore the cover. He took one look at it and told me there was no way he was reading it and to pick out something else.

What books do you have that have covers too embarrassing to be read in public? Are there any books that have covers so horrible that you refuse to even pick them up?