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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sexin' Up the Classics

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 3:44 PM

[You might've noticed a Blogtown glitch earlier that was rendering a double S as a "whatever this symbol is ß"—pedants GO—but now that it's fixed I can FINALLY post my post about sexy, sexy classic books.]


The New York Times reports on a recent trend of publishers re-releasing the classics with eye-catching new covers—presumably to pander to the booming YA market. (The Times' pointed headline: "To Lure ‘Twilight’ Teenagers, Classic Books Get Bold Looks.") The article points to covers of Wuthering Heights (“Bella & Edward’s favorite book," reads the cover), Romeo & Juliet, and Jane Eyre.

“We didn’t want to go with a muted approach,” said Eileen Kreit, the president and publisher of Puffin. “We had that Urban Outfitters customer in mind. We wanted to appeal to that teenager and give a fresh look to these stories that have been around a very long time.”

A great reading discovery that kids who really love books eventually make, and kids who don't really love books probably don't, is that a lot of the classics are way more fun than you think they'll be. I still remember how surprised I was to realize how gossipy Anna Karenina is, or how trashy Edith Wharton can be. I'd be a little embarrassed to be seen with that Wuthering Heights cover, but some of the other ones are pretty cool.

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