Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve shown you some absolutely abysmal examples of updated book covers, like the weird, 50 Shades of Grey-inspired, Harlequin romance-tacky and generally gross jackets for classics like The Bell Jar. Then, there was the completely-missing-the-point cover for Anne of Green Gables featuring what appeared to be a bleach-blonde American Eagle model when the book’s title character is one of young adult literature’s most iconic redheads.
Ray Bradbury’s dystopian-future classic Fahrenheit 451 turns 60 this year, and apparently, 2013 has been a big year so far for the rebranding of classic novels, so let’s do this one too! Simon & Schuster held a jacket design contest for the book, and the results were hit-or-miss (Matthew Owen’s winning design is lovely though), but the imagined cover art that made literary nerds salivate this week came from designer Elizabeth Perez. The type and layout is elegant, but what makes the jacket so stunning is its materials. Perez took the novel’s premise about a future where firemen burn books and anyone caught reading declared a subversive to heart, and in addition to the foreboding match as the "1," the spine of the book is made from matchbook striking paper, a reminder that this, too, can be burned.
The cover made the front page of Reddit and went viral among the lit world from there, which is funny because here are people on the Internet geeking out over an actual book made of paper and things. And it’s cool to see everyone getting excited not just about literature and design, but the potential of paper books as a medium, still. At the same time, we can’t help but remember this amazing Onion headline, "Following Ray Bradbury’s Death, Thousands Of People Buy Kindle Version Of Book About Demise Of Paper Books." You know what doesn’t burn at 451 degrees Fahrenheit? A Kindle Fire. Guess you didn’t see that one coming, did you, Ray? That said, Ray Bradbury is still amazing and this design is still pretty sweet. And books are always better than hate-reading more Girls thinkpieces anyway.