Awesome book cover Friday: Pet Sematary

This week’s pick is an oldie but a goodie: Pet Sematary by Stephen King, published in 1983.

I love the film version of this one. First up is a British import of the book, which Hodder & Stoughton put out in 2007. The publishing house seems to have replaced it with a newer cover (second one down, dated 2011), which is also pretty neat.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King pink white

Pet Sematary by Stephen King cat

I also really like this other Hodder & Stoughton cover from 1983 although I wasn’t able to find a decent image of it. I’m sure you’ve seen this one and this one — also cool. Here’s a bigger collection of all or most of the designs that were made for the book.

Does anyone know a good online shop where you can purchase vintage books specifically by cover? Amazon isn’t all that dependable — I bought a particular version of Life of Pi and received a different cover than what I wanted. I think Etsy has worked for me in the past, but it doesn’t have the best selection. I’m sure eBay would work, but I don’t know how much is available there, either. Do you ever go hunting for vintage covers? Where do you look for consistent results? I’d like to do some research on this.

[Update: actually doesn’t seem too bad. You can search for rare books — including signed or first editions — or filter results by whether the seller provided a picture, by country, whether it comes with a dust jacket, etc.]

Also: Do you think Stephen King is a good writer? Of course he’s successful, but my boyfriend and I were discussing whether he’s a good writer. He’s obviously a commercial writer — someone who writes frequently and for the common reader, which is why his books are so widely accepted. Literary writers are a different breed. They write with a greater attention to language and conventions like theme — there’s a greater purpose to their writing than just sales and storytelling.

So … thoughts? Is Stephen King a good writer? What are your favorite books by him? And do you have to be a literary writer to be a good writer-writer?