So far, visual aesthetics have been thin on the ground. We haven't showcased any visual aspect of books in our Top 10 Monday posts, and it's high time we did something about it. As not only book readers, but also book collectors, we love and appreciate the beauty of physical books in all their glory. We admire them on our shelves, stroke their spines lovingly and sigh with contentment at the sight of their beautiful covers.

And so each of us chose the ten covers they love the most (at the present moment), in no particular order, and listed them in this week's Top 10 Monday post. We hope you enjoy looking at them half as much as we enjoyed picking them out. This was one of those weeks where it physically hurt to narrow our respective choices to only 10. There are just so many!

Lexie's Top 10 Favorite Book Covers

1. "The Archived" by Victoria Schwab

Not only is this cover incredibly put together, all its elements are also highly relevant to the story which unfolds inside the book. The slightly ominous, slightly mythical feel to the cover itself matches the undertone of the story that Victoria Shwab has dreamed up. And while I picked the first book, the cover design of the second is just as beautiful.

2. "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

I read somewhere that the author of "Mara Dyer" was concerned with what sort of covers her series would get after all her suggestions and preferences were vetoed. But then her publisher came out with these photographs (yes, they're underwater photographs!) and her concerns were over. The haunting, etheral nature of the cover matches the haunting, ethereal nature of the story perfectly.

3. "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak

My one irrefutable proof that simplicity can upstage even the most elaborate designs. This is perhaps my favorite book cover of all time. As with most on my list, the cover is highly pertinent to the plot of the book. And there is not one single thing I would add to it.

4. "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss

This is an instance where the picture doesn't match the actual look of the cover in physical form. Not by a long shot. The letters are a more saturated color, blending beautifully with the image to invoke a perfect kind of autumn atmosphere that renders the reader nostalgic before they even get started on the story itself. And the story is just as masterful. 

5. "Ignite Me" by Tahereh Mafi

I picked "Ignite Me", but really, I could have chosen any of the "Shatter Me" series covers. Ever since the cover change early on, each has been a delight to look at. The two novellas feature a closed eye, as they don't take place from the protagonist's point of view and she can't "see" what transpires in them. The rest feature the protagonist's eye, and the season each cover is based around fits the mood of said book perfectly.

6. "Hush Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick

True story: this is an instance where I prefer the cover to the actual book. While I did have my share of problems with the "Hush, Hush" series, I had no such problems with the cover design. In fact, I might have opted to purchase the (e)book based on the cover alone. Because sometimes, we do judge a book by its cover. At least initially.

And speaking of judging a book by its cover in a positive way, this is one where I've known many to do just that (and I am no exception). I haven't read "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender" yet, but when I do, it'll be at least in part thanks to this elegant cover which speaks to the minimalist in me.

8. "Cruel Beauty" by Rosamund Hodge

Is it blood? Is it a rose? No, it's a spiral staircase with the rose petal elements woven through it. I could sit and stare at this cover for days, just marveling at its brilliance. 

9. "Inland" by Kat Rosenfield

First of all, I love the effect of that particular shade of yellow contrasted agains that particular shade of faded, desaturated blue. Second of all, it's a brilliant concept, in equal parts ominous and amusing, and speaks volumes of the story therein.

10. "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

The reason "Twilight" has made this list isn't my particular preference for this particular cover. I can appreciate the symbolism well enough, of course, but that's about it. The reason I've chosen to include "Twilight" is my appreciation of what these covers have done for the publishing industry as a whole, especially the YA covers and romance covers in general. Rather than to opt for a shirtless Fabio riding horseback, more and more publishers (as well as self-published authors) are opting for a simplistic, more elegant design. "Fifty Shades of Grey" (which started out as "Twilight" fan fiction) has in many ways emulated these covers, and many others have followed suit. We could, of course, spend weeks and months debating the literary merit of these books. But where the covers are concerned, I'm appreciative of the influence they have had.

Natalie's Top 10 Favourite Book Covers

1. "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins

I love Paris. It's my favourite city and this cover, although it's mostly text and it's quite simple, I love it. The colour is beautiful and the sight of my favourite landmark standing proud in the back is stunning. I get a feeling of warmth and fond memories when I look at this cover from not only this great story but of personal trips to France. 

2.  "Angelfall" by Susan Ee

The mangled wings and the amazing mix of colours really drew me to this book. It's a simple design on a dark background, not a lot going on but I think it's beautiful. It also really shows the type of book you're going to read.

3. "September Girls" by Bennett Madison

I've yet to read this one but it's certainly on my list. The silhouettes and the light through the water is just stunning. And that type of green is so pretty. Gorgeous. I can't wait to get this book cover for my bookshelf.

4. "The Retribution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin 

Out of the three Mara Dyer books, I like this one the best. Although it was a tough decision between this one and the first book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I felt I prefer this one for the light. The character poses are great and I love the water theme as covers set around the ocean are always stunning. (As you can tell, there seems to be a theme going on with mine)

5.  "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke

It's a different type of cover than the others. The beautiful silhouettes of the buildings and ship are creative and interesting. I first spotted this one just because of the cover, I'd heard nothing about it, and it certainly did it's job with drawing me in. The blue is also gorgeous and I love the border.

6.  "Tides" by Betty Cornwell

I seem to be a lover of water. Simple covers are also great, I'm not a lover of crowded pictures on the front of my books. This one is beautiful, the character diving into the water is elegant and the bubbles are a lovely touch. I always love an animal on the cover and as a lover of the ocean, the colours again are also gorgeous.

7. "The Sea Of Tranquility" by Kayja Millay

I love covers that have two ways of looking at it. The melted ice cream moulding into two characters faces is memorable and lovely. Fitting to the story and very different. 

8. "The One" by Kiera Cass

This is a UK version of The One and as we got it later, it's the same as the other covers but .....the colours. So much more vibrant and the blue is so stunning. It stands out more. Not to mention, that's a beautiful wedding dress. 

9. "Killing Sarai" by J.A Redmerski

This is a great book and the cover really does show what this book entitles. It's lovely and very relevant to the story, the colours are lovely and the blood effect is a great touch. 

10.  "The Moaning Of Life" by Karl Pilkington

This one is quite different to the others. Well, very different. If you live in the UK, you'll know who this guy is. He's hilarious and when I saw this cover of his newest book, I was in stitches. His face is hilarious and I had to add it to the list because I can't not chuckle when I see it. A great cover. There's always that one cover that makes us laugh and this one's mine.

What are your favorite book covers? Do you prefer a simplistic or an elaborate design? Share your picks with us and feel free to fawn over or diss our own. ;) We can take it!