Booking Through Thursday: Cover Story

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no question that it can make a difference!

What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…

And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

I am stupidly easy to distract with a beautiful cover. While I can’t be too picky at the moment, as I rely mostly on libraries for my books and get whatever edition they happen to have on hand, it does definitely flavor my reading experience. What I can say? I’m a really visual person.

As far as favorite covers, Alan Lee’s illustrations gracing those enormous copies of The Lord of the Rings are jaw-droppingly beautiful; they focus on monuments in Middle-Earth, giving your imagination a bit of wiggle room. Rock and Roll is Here to Stay has a lovely cover, with the text vertical instead of horizontal and limited color. I’m awful fond of the look of the Penguin Classics—you know, illustration, black box—for anything in the public domain. And the American cover for Mr. Toppit is very arresting.

I have read books solely based on their cover; again, I’m really visual and I didn’t really read as a kid. I specifically remember stumbling across the gorgeous cover to The Gigolo Murder, done by Tomer Hanuka, and snatching up The Kiss Murder because of its cover. A decent read, but nothing really amazing, you know?

8 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Cover Story

  1. I try my best not to choose books based on the cover because often (at least nowadays) the most beautiful covers can hide the worst books inside them, but inevitably covers still draw me to books. I agree about the Penguin classics, and like the OWC editions for the same reason, they are just well presented.

  2. Covers do draw me to books, I know, and it’s not the perfect way to pick a book. On the other hand, there really IS no perfect way to pick a book. Even when you’re using much sensibler criteria (like what you’ve enjoyed in the past compared to what a given book is about), it’s still a crapshoot. So I think it is okay to judge a book by its cover.

    • How odd that you say that, because photographs of people on covers tend to hurt mine (unless it’s a film tie-in)—I’m going into a novel with a preconceived conception of the protagonist, without being able to form my own conception of them first.

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