Good afternoon you lovely lot! I am back again this week with another ‘What’s on your mind TWG?’, last weeks blog post seemed to go down a treat! Thank you to everyone that got involved in the discussion. If you missed the post, you can find it again here: What’s on your mind TWG? – Spoilers in a review, yes or no?
So what IS on TWG’s mind this week? Let’s talk about judging books by their covers, literally. When I was younger, book covers didn’t seem as vibrant, fancy or eye-catching as they do these days. To me anyway. Although, I guess an 5-6 year old wouldn’t really stand at shelves stacked with books going ‘mother, this book cover isn’t catching my eye, I shan’t read this one today!’. I would be rather impressed if I did though! As I have grown into a late twenty something woman, as well as starting my blog, I pay attention to individual book covers more than anything. Maybe it’s because I am more aware of how much work goes into creating them, or maybe it’s because I appreciate them more now that I am older.
But there is a difference between appreciating a cover for its beauty and using a book cover to decide whether you will buy the book or not.
When you go to buy a book do you:
a) read the blurb first, then make your decision based on that – or –
b) judge a book by its cover and base your decision on what it LOOKS like – or –
c) will you only buy the book if you like BOTH the blurb and the cover.
I know, I know, it’s a well-known phrase that you should never ‘never judge a book by its cover’, but is that allowed for books?
Before I began blogging, I had a very thorough way of choosing whether I was going to read a book or not:
1. Look at the cover & title.
2. Read the blurb.
3. Read the first couple of lines on the first page.
Do I do that now? No, I don’t. When you work with publishers and authors, you can’t exactly say ‘hang on a second, I need to read the first page before I decide whether I’m going to review your book or not’, that is a tad rude. It is rare that I read the blurbs of books now too because I find that they seem to give more of the story away.
So TWG, how DO you choose a book to read? Well, I decide based on the cover and the title. If both of those catch my eye and make me intrigued, then I will read it. That said, my way isn’t set in stone. Sometimes I do delve further into the information of the book before choosing, but predominantly my decision is based on the cover.
When I get asked to review a book one of the first things that sit in the e-mail (apart from Hi Kaisha) is the book title and author. Yes, the information of the book is included, but I don’t read it. I probably sound like a book snob here, but using my logic, I find I accept more books to review because it broadens my genres and I have found many different and new authors because I chose their books based on the covers.
So yes, it does play a big part in my decision with books. But I am a complete book nerd and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into making a cover shout the story visually. It’s quite clever when you think of it that way.
My question to you is: do you judge a book by its cover? As always I want to hear your thoughts on this weeks topic. Please let me know how you choose a book to read using the choices above in your answers, or do you do something completely different? Authors: do you have a lot riding on your covers to help sell the book?
To join in this discussion pop your comments in reply to this blog post, or you can tweet me @kaishajayneh, or find me on The Writing Garnet on Facebook. I cannot wait to hear what you think! If you have any topic ideas please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org!