Notice the peculiar pattern on the following book covers?
5122URfk76L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 517P4XYT7QL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 515yDwQ5y6L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

511QGDXZRFL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 61zR5M3LINL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51TLapjUU+L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

51WNDHV13NL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51So2cDW8HL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51rm3ajVcJL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

51PsQ1if7GL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51KXJ6CbHfL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51oF0Y4HamL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

51jS1g4vfZL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51DpPwtaSVL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51DC6EwRh-L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

51HxUtZ-1oL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 5190fA02-ZL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 41ZXsP8USuL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

51-0+FuaI6L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ 51kUHbA+aJL._SL500_AA240_ 411SyocRkWL._SL500_AA240_

51O7b7GPFAL._SL500_AA240_ 517si6lWSIL._SL500_AA240_ 51ZCH2AhbWL._SL500_AA240_

See the pattern? All of the women displayed are missing part of their face or head—and all of them are missing eyes. (Although I stopped after twenty-one, I could have selected dozens more.)

I started looking for examples after this phenomena was pointed out by A.G. Harmon at Image magazine:

[K]nowing there are platoons of marketers who focus group this kind of stuff—novel titles, and the color and texture of book jackets—I’m sure this fad is the most intentional of things. That is, it’s not why I myself would do it this way: because eyes are hard to draw. No. They must be on to something; this must be a good idea, sales-wise.

But how come? I decided that eyes give too much away; they’re too committal. These books all seem intended to reserve an air of mystery, of exoticism: “if you want to know me, you must pay twenty-five dollars for the hardcover, and still you’ll only scratch the surface.”


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