I have to admit, I am a person who judges a book by its cover. To me, first impressions count when I decide what I want to read next. Usually the publishing houses want to capture the content of the book on the cover to show the reader what kind of book they are in for. Sometimes the cover seems to belong to another book entirely and you are left wondering if it was done on purpose or if the people responsible did a sloppy job.
Is it shallow that I judge a book by its cover? Definitely. Do I care? Not one bit. There are so many good books out there waiting for me to read them and if cover and blurb don’t manage to enthrall me I will probably not read it. In some cases I must’ve dismissed a book which would have kept me up all night. I shall never know. I simply don’t have time to read every book! Reading is something I deeply enjoy and I am not one for spontaneity when it comes to picking up new books.
In a way the cover is a book’s business card. Imagine browsing the shelves in a store or library and the first thing that catches your eye is the title. You pull the book out just enough so you can get a glimpse at the cover. For me this is the moment where I decide whether I want to give the book a chance or not. I have two categories. Covers that ooze romance and revolve around a destiny-touched girl who is not like other girls. These books belong in my first category which I
put back immediately!
Books targeted at girls my age often have overly romance-centered covers. Especially in the fantasy genre. In fact, bookshop on tumblr collected YA covers and merged them into this glorious post.
In the second category are those books that pass the initial cover scrutiny. We move on to
reading the blurb!
Is there ever a time when I disregard the cover and simply start reading? Of course! I very much like being recommended books. Nothing better than a hyped friend gushing about the book they’ve just read. The cover might be atrocious and the blurb go against everything I stand for but if the recommendation comes from a person I trust, I am going to read that book! I never would have given any of the books shown below a chance; the covers suggest romance and I am not down for that. But hey, joke’s on me, those books were AWESOME! There was also a bit of romance which I actually enjoyed …
Before I go and buy books I usually spend a lot of time investigating the plot, perhaps read the first few pages on Amazon (and then order it at the local bookstore!). Again the cover will only play a minimal role because I most likely heard about the book or was looking for a specific topic. I will do a lot of recon to ensure I will be enjoying reading it. Again, these books I chose because I liked the story, even though the covers did their best to scare me off.
Look what they did to ‘The Lord of the Rings’?!
What am I looking for in a cover? I want to see a promise of adventure or suspense or as my girlfriend so nicely put it: these covers look brutal and full of violence. Well, not all of them. I am also a huge fan of covers that include details about the story in the design. There might be a raven or a mushroom on the cover and you have no idea what that means until after you read the book. When it comes to colours I like rich or dark colours, no pastel.
Anyway, we learned today that I am shallow when it comes to book covers (I still don’t care). I might be missing out on great books right now but my to-be-read-pile is still teetering so that is the least of my concerns. Perks of being a bookseller: you never run out of books. I will always be influenced by the covers of books and I won’t change that. All that is left for my hypocritical self to say now is
never judge a book by its cover! 🙂