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Finally! These Classic Novels Get the Book Covers They Deserve

All the more reason to read up.

1 / 7

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Designer Norman Conquest flipped the two As to imitate the fangs on this book cover for the 1897 Gothic horror novel, as part of the Recovering the Classics campaign, a crowdsourced collection of original book covers for 50 timeless titles. But if Bram Stoker kept his working title, Conquest would have needed to flip the As in The Dead Un-Dead. Even more classic book covers would be different if authors kept their original titles for these world-famous books. You can buy Dracula here.

2 / 7

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester Prynne, one of the strongest female literary characters ever written, has graced many classic book covers for this iconic novel through multiple artist renditions. In a different take, an artist who goes by “MrFurious” designed the cover around the story’s most important symbol—the A in the title—in this take on Hawthorne’s 1850 magnum opus for the Recovering the Classics campaign. Buy the book here.

3 / 7

1984 by George Orwell

George Orwell had truly unforgettable last words while on his deathbed. It’s fitting, then, that the words he wrote throughout his life have become equally unforgettable. This 1949 Orwell title, reimagined by designer David Pearson, borrows from the novel’s Ministry of Truth and its efforts to rewrite history. Buy the book here.

4 / 7

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This 1953 tale about book burning is one of those novels you can easily read in a day. Elizabeth Perez’s clever concept design for the Austin Creative Department features a removable matchstick in place of the number one, with special binding to underscore just how flammable books are. Buy the book here.

5 / 7

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s iconic novel is one of the books you really should have read by now, all of which have classic book covers you’ll recognize instantly. With two symbols—one serious, one lighthearted—artist Paul Boardman sums up the 1960 classic novel with its twinned themes of crime and innocence. This book cover is for sale as a poster through UNESCO’s DoeDeMee project to raise awareness of illiteracy. Buy the book here.

6 / 7

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Few classic book covers employ the level of cartoonish fun found in this artistic rendition. If only the movie remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was as good as its original. (These movies certainly didn’t need modern remakes.) Iconic scenes from the 1964 children’s classic add color while summarizing the story in this redesigned book cover by Ivan Brunetti. Buy the book here.

7 / 7

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This book cover was reimagined by designer Ionnis Fetanis as part of the Creative Action Network’s Recovering the Classics project, and it certainly doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to appreciate its simple but fitting for the protagonist’s matter-of-fact personality. Buy the book here. If true crime is more your style, check out these chilling true crime thrillers you won’t want to read at night.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest