I found something today that really bothered me. I’m not sure why, but it annoys me endlessly. It’s this new idea called ‘Hide a Cover’, which sets you back about 6 bucks… so you can pretend you are reading something weighty and worthwhile. So you can hide your ‘Public Speaking for Dummies’ with a Pride and Prejudice cover, or your Mills & Boon with ‘Decoding Binary’.
Perhaps I’m being over sensitive. Perhaps. Maybe these are cute, in a weird way. But my criticisms for this are vast. Firstly, why do you need to be ashamed about what you are reading in the first place? Why can’t you “read shamelessly” (their tagline) at any time? And secondly, who needs to FAKE reading Pride and Prejudice? Some of the covers they have are actually a little bit genius (one of them says ‘if you can read this you are too close’, which definitely makes sense considering the personal space issues I deal with on the train on a daily basis, and some of them could be nice decorative book protectors, especially as they apparently fit most books.
One thing I don’t understand is how they can market it as a romance book hider, by suggesting that they “will fit almost all romance novel sized books, commonly refered to “mass market paperback” size, as well as the ones that run a little bigger” and by micro-reviewing romantic books (including some Austen spin-offs) but then cover it with the ultimate romance novel, Pride and Prejudice? Marketing fail? Also, on the back they say ‘Hide-a-Cover’… not exactly discreet.
In fact, I have a better use for these! Why not put them around notebooks? It would glam them up a bit, and make writing in them seem so much more exciting. Perhaps, as I’m not a mother and I don’t tend to read Mills & Boon/non-Regency-era-slush, I haven’t got a need for these covers. Jenni Thomas, the person who came up with the idea, says women need them to keep children from looking at “Mommy’s books”. Maybe she has a point.
The wholesalers sheet apparently supplies the titles in numbers appropriate to popularity, and the Pride and Prejudice cover seems to fall mid-range, one of the top being the ‘Trashy Vampire’ cover. If I was in a bookstore, such as Borders, and there was a cover for 6 bucks… I’d, honestly, be tempted to pick it up. Similar ideas have been around for a while, but I don’t think many are presented in quite the same funky way, except for Etsy’s Hide-a-Book range that have fantastic Parisian style covers, and while they are a bit more on the pricey side (12 US dollars) they are more stylish and elegant (and remind me a lot of those Penguin patterned cloth covers).
So, what do you think? Is this a good idea or a pointless one? Does it depend on age and circumstance?