I am not afraid to admit that I do judge books by their covers! I can’t help but disagree with the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ advice. I like to think about the illustrator, and the hard work they put into producing designs for book covers. I love the fact that writing and graphic design are industries that consistently support one another. In terms of the contents of the book, of course you cannot judge its merit on the cover alone, but until you’ve read the book, sometimes the cover is the deciding factor if you have too much choice (let’s face it). Perhaps judging a book by a cover is appreciating the book as an aesthetic treasure as well as a writing feat? I also admit, if a book has an awfully displeasing cover, I will have to be talked into buying it. I can’t help but judge an author (only if they’re still alive obviously) upon how much time and attention they’ve put into choosing the right cover; after all, their book is product that will benefit from diligent marketing. To me when an author is conscientious of what cover will grace their book, it is then graced with a somewhat endearing sense of pride making it all the more attractive to the potential reader.
When you are in a bookshop and faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of books, judging a book by its cover can simply be the most effective way to whittle down your choices. Of course I completely agree that you should never judge an individual by their ‘cover’ as this would effectively be agreeing that someone can be defined by their circumstance, which is SO wrong. However, I’m merely suggesting that as far as books are concerned, I do enjoy having books on my shelf that look handsome and frame the story with the air of achievement any author deserves for their art.
So… here are some of my favorite book covers: