Judging a book by it’s cover

March 3, 2013 Bookish chat, Bookish Fun 4

Yes, I know the old saying is ‘never judge a book by its cover”.  (trivia titbit – In 1946 the phrase first appeared in the murder mystery novel Murder in the Glass Room (by Edwin Rolfe and Lester Fuller) as “you can never tell a book by its cover.”).    But seriously when you walk in to your favourite bookshop, what catches your eye enough to make your hands pick up a book and turn it over to read the blurb?  Or if in Amazon, what makes you click for more info?

For me sometimes its because I know the author or have heard good things about the book but mostly it’s the cover.  Some books have what I consider awful covers, the Harry Potter covers put me off the books for years as they seemed so childish.  But when I finally gave in and read them, I got the fantastic thrill of finding my favourite series and wanted to bang my head for being shallow enough to overlook them in the first place simply because of the covers.

On the other hand, it is equally bad when the cover looks amazing and then the story is one big letdown.  It feels like false advertising to me!  Not going to name names here though, don’t want to be a hater and at the end of the day cover choice is hugely personal.

Instead I’m going to leave you with 2 favourite covers from books I have read lately where the image really appealed to me.  They both do an excellent job of giving you a flavour of the atmosphere for the story within.  Fantastic covers and fantastic books, highly recommended if you have not read them.

Bookish Chat : What is your favourite cover and why?  Leave a comment, don’t be shy, I love to talk books 🙂

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4 Responses to “Judging a book by it’s cover”

  1. Kelly W

    Hey, Trish! Great post, one I agree wholeheatedly with. I am intensely drawn in by a cover, and have based…more book-buying decisions than I’d like to admit on the cover appeal. As you pointed out, good covers often lie, so it’s come back to bite me in the butt a few times.

    My favorite cover – and favorite book, actually – is probably Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. It’s this wonderful combination of simple and elegent, plain and colorful…you’d just have to see it for yourself, if you haven’t already. And the story is fantastic, I hightly recommend it.

    What country are you from? In America, the Harry Potter covers are very different — though still pretty childish in appearance. Not quite as bad as those, though. They’d have probably put me off for awhile, too.

    One last thing; I’m having trouble figuring out how to follow your blog. Maybe I’m missing it? I typically just click the “follow me” button, as do a lot of other bloggers to my understanding, so if you can add one of those it would probably help quite a bit. 🙂

    Kelly @ http://www.paper-fantasies.blogspot.com

    • Trish Hannon

      Hi Kelly, thanks for commenting. I actually haven’t read Daughter of Smoke and Bone but have heard a lot about it. Will add it to my Goodreads shelf and have a good look at the cover too, sounds like a great mix!

      I’m in Ireland so yes we have different covers and funny enough the first book even has a different name here, strange!

      The follow me button, thanks for letting me know. I will try and figure out how to add one 🙂 Still learning here so appreciate you so much telling me about that.

  2. Pinky Poinker

    Hi Trish, When I’m looking at the covers on books I suppose one thing that stands out for me is a literary award. I have never read a book that has won an award that I didn’t love!
    Now that I read most of my books on Kindle I don’t get to see the covers. The technological age has changed it up a bit I guess.
    This is a great site by the way. :))

    • Trish Hannon

      I thought that about the Kindle and covers too. You do see a lot less of the cover than when you have a physical book to pick up and put down and the cover is constantly on display. Its still the cover that helps me to decide whether to click that book on to my Kindle though 🙂

      An award is a great of picking a book, it’s tried and tested 🙂

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