Thursday, May 22, 2008

Judging a book by its cover

Do you?

I often do judge a book by its cover. So many books are flung onto the porch every week for the show. On the way to the kitchen, I open the (usually) padded envelope and look at the cover of the book. I don't much care whether it's hard cover or paperback, but I like a nice texture and color. If it's teal, turquoise, aqua, or sky blue, so much the better. I've been known to keep these, and make beautiful colored stacks, or organize by color. The author's photo either compels me or doesn't. If the author looks bratty, or arrogant, the book goes in the reject pile. Not that the author has to look friendly, either. He or she just has to look ... interesting and approachable. I can't think of any author worth spending time on the phone with if they're not nice or fun or glad to be there.

Apparently, a lot of people judge books by their covers. Others judge books by their covers, too.

Do you?

5 comments:

Virginia said...

Oh, absolutely. I never quite got the phrase, "You can't judge a book by its cover," because, quite honestly, if I don't like the cover, I don't believe I'll like the book. It may not be PC to admit it, but there you go....

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

And it may not be PC of me to admit that I'm sick of everything having to be PC! (And I'm also using exclamation points more than ever!)

Jim Murdoch said...

It's a time thing. We need everything bullet-pointed and a book cover is just another way of doing this. It is a visual summary, if not of the book per se, then the style, the flavour of the book. Tacky cover = tacky book. I put a lot of thought into how I would present my first novel to the world and opted for simplicity and familiarity: a Rorschachian inkblot. I reduced the book to a logo. It is also the kind of image that can be redone for the next books creating an identifiable design. I like when you can collect a set of books by an author and they all have that kind of stamp on them. Iain Banks' publisher hit it right on the nail with his black and white (followed by white-on-black) covers: immediately recognisable.

J from HB said...

No. I judge a book by its thickness or by its heft. I judge wine by it cover, i.e. its label. I especially like the labels of the new Australian wines with the crazy animals and colors. They make me happy even before I open the bottle. As for books, it doesn't matter what the cover looks like as long as I like the opening line.

Anonymous said...

I've actually read books purely on the cover...and was not happy with them...so maybe i should judge them by their covers...