Go ahead–you know you want to!

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

How many times have you heard that homily?  I know my mother repeated that ad infinitum, ad nauseum while I was growing up.

Well, guess what–I frequently judge books by their covers.

Fallen (Lauren Kate's Fallen Series #1) by Lauren Kate: NOOKbook Cover For example, this cover intrigued me so much that I had to read the book.  The gloom of the scene, the gorgeous dress, her luminous white skin–it hints of mysteries inside. And it was a very good book, so the cover did not lead me astray.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: NOOKbook Cover

Say what you will about the Twilight series–go ahead, really, I won’t stop you–the cover is gorgeous.  Eve (or is it Adam) holding out the apple to tempt an unknown person? Love it. I didn’t choose this book for its cover, though; a good friend loaned me her copy and I devoured it in a couple of hours.  It’s not my favourite series, but it was good for some entertainment.

Book Cover Image. Title: Her Last Letter, Author: by Nancy C. Johnson I HATE this cover. It’s atrocious. I bypassed this book for months because the cover was so awful. The story actually isn’t too bad. I wonder how many other people didn’t read the book because of the awful cover.

Book Cover Image. Title: An Accidental Birthright, Author: by Maisey  Yates I don’t have to even read the blurb to know I won’t like this one.  I may have mentioned a time or two that I don’t enjoy romances for the sake of romances.

So come on, tell me, what books have you read or not read solely by checking out the cover? Have you had any surprises, pleasant or unpleasant? 

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14 Responses to Go ahead–you know you want to!

  1. Bumbles says:

    Well, I won’t overlook a book because I dislike the cover. But I will certainly be drawn to pick up a book because of the cover. The title will do the same thing. If the cover or title catches my eye – because it is funny, unusual, different, intriguing in any way that makes it stand out from the crowd – I will pick it up, read the blurb or the first paragraph and make a decision. I never read a book without investigating it a little. So although the cover or title can get me to pick it up – it won’t be enough alone to get me to read it.

    • That makes sense–I seldom flat out refuse to read a book because of a bad cover, although it may take me a while to decide to read it.

      • jehara says:

        Me too. I had The Thirteenth Tale on my TBR list for a very long time. I even checked it out a few times, but something about the cover made me dread opening it up. And it’s a pretty cover too, the spines of books with a tassle hanging out from the pages. I think it was the dark coloring. It gave me an oppressive feeling when I looked at it. Finally, I read it. And loved it. I laugh at myself and how ridiculous I am to let a cover deter for a bit.

  2. izzybella says:

    I have picked up a book based solely on the cover and enjoyed it. I have also picked up books based solely on the cover and hated them like poison. (heh, this goes for restaurants also…the Irish Camel. CRAP. Buck n’ Loon’s. Kinda awesome)

    I have to admit that’s one of the reasons I like my Nook so much. I like to read urban fantasy but the covers are all pretty much hideous.

  3. kaye says:

    I love cover’s and I am drawn to a book because of it’s cover. (I recently bought a copy of Sense and Sensibility that was blue with red flowers–no jacket). But I’m not turned off of a book because of it’s cover. The Mercy Thompson books don’t have the greatest covers but I love the story. This weeks top ten on tuesday was on covers we thought needed a redo. Google “the Broke and the Bookish” for links. There were some fun posts.

  4. Margot says:

    Very interesting topic. Kaye had an interesting post on books covers on Tuesday. She showed 10 different covers for the same book – Jane Eyre. At the time I thought about how I would not pick up most of those books based on the outside appearance, although it’s a favorite story of mine. (The link is here: http://ladygaladrielkj.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuesday-teaser-monster-high.html)

    I will admit to being tempted a lot by covers, especially in savvy bookstores where they line the books up vertically. It’s nearly impossible to resist touching one. There is a whole set of books I am slowly acquiring that have plain gray covers. It’s the Persephone Books out of London. The covers are gray but the endpapers are copied from a variety of beautiful fabrics. The stories are all excellent. They tend to be women’s literature and most have been out-of-print until Persephone republished them. It’s a good example of not being able to judge a book by it’s cover.

  5. Heather says:

    I love cover appeal. It’s one of the reasons I adore YA fiction. The covers scream at me to read them. But many are disappointing. Though, when it comes to non-fiction, I could care less about the cover; since it’s non-fiction, I know more about what I’m getting into. I also think it’s interesting when publishers change covers for different countries. When I do book reviews, I like to look up alternative covers and post them and see which ones people like best. Great topic!

  6. Heather, I’m with you on good covers for a lot of YA fiction. And I hadn’t thought of making the distinction, but covers don’t have as much effect on me when they’re non-fiction.

    My mother has had a series published in multiple countries, and we loved seeing the different covers for the different editions.

    Thank you for visiting!

  7. gypsygrrl says:

    heh. i am kind of in the similar boat with other responders… i wont write a book off because of the cover (well, maybe i will) but i love a good cover to draw me in. i am especially enamored with old-type photographs of the WWII time-period. if i like the cover and its a topic i like, i am bad news in a bookstore.

    *waving to faith and the girls*

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