The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Last year we started a book club with some women from my work. Last week marked one year that we've kept it all going, despite our busy schedules and changing lives. We haven't picked The Book Thief (yet?!) but we've often brought it up as a possible book choice. This got me thinking about the first time I read it a few years ago, and in turn, the cover.
The American cover for The Book Thief has never really sat well with me. If you're unfamiliar with the book, it's a Holocaust story, narrated by Death, about a young girl named Liesel growing up in Nazi Germany, who steals books. From graves, from book burnings, from houses. It's one of my favorite books in recent memory.
I understand the marketing challenge of a book like The Book Thief.
For starters, you have:
Female main character.
Young main character.
Is it for kids or adults?
Did I mention it's narrated by Death?
And though it is a Holocaust story, it is far more than that. It's a coming of age story, a slice of humanity in the face of adversity, and far less depressing than it sounds. But still, how do you sell a book like that? In this, the American cover succeeds. It's enigmatic and gritty, and sidesteps the heavy stuff in favor of just "mysterious" and "dark." But it still got me a little restless.
Above you can see my stab at it all, albeit an obvious and imperfect solution. One that probably wouldn't fly with publishers for the reasons I mentioned earlier. But I wanted to give a nod to a good book the way I did back when I did my book covers while I was in school. In this, I'm not trying to sell the book, I'm just trying it on for size, and paying homage to a story I love.
Thanks for taking a look. And take care.