Judge a Book by its Cover

The A to Z Challenge is an annual blogging challenge. It isn’t restricted to book blogs – all kinds of blogs can participate. It takes place every year in April and during that month you have to write a post on the designated days (all except Sundays). These posts must have some correlation to the letter of the day. So, there will be a total of 26 posts starting from the letter A and ending with Z. Here is a list of all my posts.

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We all know the saying, but how many of us do actually follow it?

Let’s face it. Covers play a very important role in a book. Maybe even the most important role, dare I say? People say that covers shouldn’t affect you when deciding whether you will read a book or not. Focus on the story, they say, on how interesting you think the book will be and just ignore the cover. But it’s right in front of my face! How could I possibly ignore it?

It’s the first thing I see when holding a book and so it can’t but play an important role when it comes to what I will think about its content and story. And that’s just natural. It’s automatic. Without having read any researches or statistics I’m pretty sure that books with pretty covers sell much better than those with a less nice cover. And I, as a reader, also think that covers are important, not only because they’re my first glimpse into the story of the book, but they also help me understand what a book will be about. You can tell on the first glance (usually), if it’s a contemporary book, fantasy, young adult, adult, science fiction etc. And so you can immediately tell if it’s something you’d be interested in or not.

Now that being said, I don’t think that anyone should decide to read (or buy) a book based only on the cover. It’s something that should only play an additional role. Besides, there are so many books with pretty covers that are really awful and books with awful covers that are great. I feel bad for the last ones… They don’t get a fair chance. 😦

Of course, I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve never bought a book just because of a pretty cover. Sometimes with just a quick glance at the synopsis to make sure it won’t be anything totally uninteresting, and then directly to the buying cart. And to prove my point here are some of those books:

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There are much more, I’m sure, that I’ve bought just (or mainly) because of the cover, but these just popped into my head right away!

How about you? Have you ever bought books based mainly on the cover (do tell me which ones, I’d love to take a look at them πŸ˜‰ )? And if yes, is that something you do often?

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13 thoughts on “Judge a Book by its Cover

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a book solely for the cover but it is the thing that makes me pick up a book and look more closely at it. Likewise I wouldn’t not buy a book because I don’t like a cover although I may well go for the kindle version so I don’t have it making my bookshelf look ugly πŸ˜‰

  2. I think I’ve definitely not bought a book because of the cover. I’m not a fan of YA paranormal romance and I can usually tell that based on the cover of a book and the title. I think I’ve also avoided books that I think have unprofessional titles. I feel that if the author doesn’t care enough to have a good cover made, he or she might not have bothered to edit, either. Maybe that’s unfair, but it’s all about branding.

    • Yes, you’re right! Cheesy titles like “his forever” or sth like that really turn me off too! It’s the worst thing. Covers are quite useful to determine the genre of the book just with a quick glance! Very nifty! πŸ˜€

  3. A cover definitely can attract me to a book first, then I’ll read the blurb. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a really pretty cover either. Something quirky or different will get my attention just as much. The one book I did recently buy mainly for the cover was Teardrop by Lauren Kate. So pretty!

    • I also like the cover of teardrop, but I really didn’t like fallen, so I’m a bit hesitant to read another book by Lauren Kate! And a cover is always the first thing I look at! Like everyone else. How can you not to?

  4. One thing I’ve recently realized about covers is the role they play in my remembering the books I’ve read. The books that I read on my kindle seem more difficult for me to remember and I think that’s partly because I’m not looking at the cover every time I read it.

  5. Pingback: A to Z Challenge Week 2 Round-up! #AtoZChallenge | Authors Without Genres

    • That’s great that it works for you! I’ve also ended up with a few not so great books when I pick only because of the cover/title. Of course that can also happen if I read the synopsis and a couple of reviews…

  6. I don’t buy books just based on the cover. I agree though, covers are important and they do play a huge role in promotion and buying. You’re more likely to pick up a pretty cover than one that’s not. The pretty covers attract you to it, which they do with me. And then I check out the synopsis to see if I’d like it, and if I’m out I’ll buy it, but if not I always check Goodreads first, haha. I’m not good with impulse buying anymore because I used to do it a lot and ended up with a box full of crappy books. But YES, it seems lately ALL the good ones are the crappy covers, I mean, what’s up with that? Yes, the books stands all on it’s own, it doesn’t need flashy covers BUT that’s only good if it’s an author that’s already known, or if you accidently pick it up. The good ones don’t get a fair chance at all. 😦 It’s rare that the good books have good covers (though some do, and then most get redesigns after) That being said, most of the pretty covers are pretty crappy books, too. So those poor things need the good covers and good promotion to get unsuspected victims to buy them.

    • Hahaha! I think the cover doesn’t really say much about how good a book will be. I’ve read great books with awful covers, but I’ve also read great books with great covers. So it doesn’t really matter. But I’m always more likely to pick a book with a great cover. It gets my attention more easily and it’ll be the one I will probably pick up at a bookstore. It’s only natural, I think. But it’s really unfair to the books with not so nice covers. Especially if they’re from an unknown author, as you said.

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