For my money, book covers are the site of some of the best graphic design and illustration that you can find today. Here is a shelfful of nifty ones. Go ahead, judge the book.

Pnin, designer Carin Goldberg

Speak Memory, designer Michael Bierut

Loneliness, designer Peter Mendelsund

The Periodic Table, designer Jim Friedman

Columbine, design by Henry Sene Yee

Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime illustration by Jaya Miceli

The General Theory of Love, designer John Gall

The Music of Chance, designer Yorgos Marinoglou

Top 4 from Book Cover Archive. Others from lists of top book covers of the year, eg here. And more here, from smashing magazine.

Then there are the books that seem so complete that nothing else is needed on the cover but the title and the name of the writer. Cited here.

And if you don’t like the cover of a book you have, you can make a simple paper “jacket” of your own from plain paper.

And maybe add the title and author. Hey it’s your book.