Friday, 18 July 2014

Cover Judger

I'll admit, I almost titled this post "Judging a Book by its Cover".

Because let's face it, most of us do it. Maybe not 100% consciously all the time, but it still happens.

I'm pretty guilty of this, to be honest. I'd like to imagine that I'm impartial and that I'll read something on its supposed merit alone. But. That's just not true.

Now, that's not to say that I'll outright refuse to read a book with a bad cover. Because that's not true either. But I'll definitely have to had put in some research in advance before picking up a book with a bad cover. Like, I should know what the book is about and be fairly certain that I'll like it.

But I'm still not going to buy it. I'll get it from the library, sure, but I don't necessarily want it on my shelf.

Now, say the cover is bad but the book is so good. I will definitely go out of my way to find an edition of the book that has a cover I like. The Book Depository has been my go-to typically for this.

So, I'm a bit of a cover snob. I'll admit it.

But what's worse is that the reverse is true: if it's pretty, I'll probably buy it. (Unless I know I'm going to hate it.)

As I've mentioned before, my book buying habits fall into two categories: books I've read and loved so much I want to purchase, and books I'd like to read and bought on a whim because they were cheap.

And, you guessed it, the cover is a pretty big factor in the latter purchases.

For the most part, though, I don't buy something completely out of the blue. It's usually a book on my Goodreads TBR and I know something about it.

But sometimes I completely succumb to the pretties. And I do the inevitable cover buy. (I mean, I read the book's synopsis first and sometimes check Goodreads. But sometimes I'm just overcome with the urge to buy it because it's pretty.) This sometimes backfires spectacularly in my face because the book is rotten, but I suppose that's the flip side of the judging moral.

Of course, the idea of good vs bad covers is completely subjective. What I might like aesthetically, you might hate. And vice versa. (Though, I really have to ask, does anyone like all the SF/F book covers that look like the art style came straight from the 70s? Because I don't understand why those two genres routinely get saddled with the worst covers ever.)

Does the cover factor into things for your book reading or buying habits? Any favourite covers to share? Let's chat in the comments!