Do you judge a book by its cover? Me too! I love cover art and am convinced that my reading experience is more pleasurable and rewarding when the book I am reading has a beautiful cover. This month’s Classics Challenge prompt has us looking at the cover design of our current classic. Friends, I am still reading Anna Karenina for this challenge so I’m sorry to talk about this novel for the second month in a row. It is a great novel and I am really enjoying it, but it is so heavy that I tend to only read a couple of chapters before bed each night. I know I need to speed it up, though, or I might not finish until December! I think AK must inspire great cover design because I found a lot of gorgeous covers for this book. Here are just a few of my favorite covers for Anna Karenina:

The version I am reading is the top left cover and I think it is very well designed, but I also love the one next to it and also the Vintage edition on the bottom…really, I like all of them and think they all have a certain appeal and attractiveness about them. I do love the covers that have women on them because Anna is the central and most important figure in the novel, but I like the bottom two because they are different and colorful.

Which of the covers do you prefer?



  1. My initial judgement is definitely based on the cover – and I have to remind myself how some of my favorite authors have suffered from really, really bad covers (Georgette Heyer in particular).

    I think the top two covers suggest women breaking out of traditional roles, or perhaps transgressing those roles – though the one on the left confuses me a little, is it someone sitting, with flowers on her lap? The two middle ones are typical “classic novel” covers, though I love the period images and they do suggest the constricted lives of women to me just by the clothes. I find the bottom two a bit too plain, even with the colors and the Russian letters on the bottom right.

    • That top left cover is a puzzle isn’t it? I’ve been looking at it for months as it sits on my bedside table and am still not certain how it represents Anna K. But I like Florence’s musings on it, below!

  2. My favourite is definitely the Vintage edition at the bottom, though I also like the top right edition. I am very intrigued by the one you are reading – I never thought of associating naked knees and violets with Anna Karenina. It gives it a surprisingly erotic twist. The colours also make her look more like a stone statue than living flesh. In fact, the more I think about it, the more interesting that cover becomes!

    • You’re right, Florence! I used to think the cover was surprisingly uninteresting, but you’ve made me see it in a whole different light.

  3. Yep! I love me a good cover. I do like that Everyman’s Library cover. I have all the Jane Austen novels in Everman’s Library hardbacks and I got some of them half price when Borders closed down. I really want to re-read AK now.

  4. I like the top two covers as well. I guess I must be partial to floral themes. I wish Penguin would come out with one of their hardback classic editions of this. I’d be curious to see what they’d do.

    • I think it is a good candidate for a new hardback edition! I’m sure it would be wonderful and I wouldn’t mind a floral theme for it.

  5. I like the Penguin because it looks like so many of my beloved Penguin paperbacks. But really they are all lovely. I also love cover art on books. So many books are beautiful and I love to display them around my house.

    • You have such a beautiful home, Sunday – I bet the book covers only make it more lovely! I think I will start doing the same. An inexpensive way to add beauty to a room.

  6. I hope it’s not too gruesome of me but the bottom left cover (Penguin) reminds me of train tracks! At first I couldn’t figure out the significance of the lines. Am I wrong? I could just be morbid.

    • Your comment made me laugh, Karen! I think those just might represent train tracks – it would be a subtle (and colorful) way to represent the ultimate tragedy of the novel.

  7. I like the penguin red one as it is for a good cause

  8. I like the penguin red one as it is for a good cause I brought a few when they came out ,all the best stu

    • I bought a few of the Penguin Red ones, as well, Stu and I do like the designs of them and the fact that the money is well spent.

  9. i love all of them!but im kinda leaning towards the vintage cover,it just looks more interesting.

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