Yes, I’ve read the Twilight series. Did I love it? Not exactly. Did I hate it? Not exactly. The first two books (Twilight and New Moon) by Stephenie Meyer were far better than the last two, in my opinion. But I understand the draw of the series for young readers. The books have everything they’re looking for : adventure, romance, beautiful people, you name it, they’ve got it. And without any bad language and very little sexual content (until the last book, which only uses flowery references), the series is appropriate for a wide variety of ages.
Now, if you’re over 40, you probably haven’t caught on to the excitement of it, but with the release of the second movie this past weekend, you’re bound to be seeing lots of Bella, Edward and Jacob everywhere. So, I came across a fabulous blog by Dan Bergstein of SparkNotes, who was challenged to read the books and blog about the content as he sees it, chapter by chapter. He is hilarious in his descriptions and not that far off the truth for the most part, so even if you’ve read the books, you’ll enjoy reading his take on them. If you haven’t, yes, there are spoilers, but if you haven’t read them by now, you probably have no plans to do so and will like this blog regardless. He has completed the first two books and is well into the third, and you can find his blog posts chapter by chapter here.
Maybe Stephenie Meyer should read his blog before writing the next book. It might be enlightening!
Are publishers so desperate to market old books to new readers that they have to change the covers so that they will appeal to new readers? On most fronts, I would say this is a great idea. I’ve seen countless examples in the library of older books being released with a new cover, one which might appeal to more people in the current day. Book covers are generally artistic now, bright and appealing with fresh artwork or photography. People will pass on a dingy cover for a new one everytime. But what do you think about this:
The success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series and the stylistic artwork on those covers makes them instantly recognizable. So, it’s not surprising that HarperCollins decided to release Pride and Prejudice in paperback with a “brand new” cover. It will draw the young adult readers, especially if it is placed near the Twilight books on displays. Notice the new tagline at the top “The love that started it all”. This will also certainly catch any readers that might not be aware that this is a classic work of fiction.
But is this really the right way to do marketing? Will it sell more books? Probably, but it’s cheating, in a way. Maybe we should think about changing the outside of the library building to make it look like a famous landmark or a hot nightclub (might get in the young adult readers?).
I guess it’s the old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover”, but it certainly is an interesting new tactic from publishing companies to try to revive interest in older books. What do you think?