They tell you to never judge books by their cover, and by “they,” I mean people who don’t know much about book marketing.
Before I read, I judge books exclusively by their covers. After all, it’s there you can find 1.) a cool design 2.) Blurbs 3.) A summary of the book. When there are so many books to choose from, we cannot simply pick up random books and begin reading. We are all unique, special human beings with unique, special tastes for unique, special books. So if we do not pay attention to covers, how will we know what books we want to read?
Personally, I enjoy reading noir and literary books, sometimes thrillers. So I search for simple but cool covers. A minimalist approach like this one might entice me to read:
So, yes, book covers tell us a lot about the books. A publishing company usually puts a lot of money into illustrations for cool books they believe in. And because we know publishing companies aren’t just money-hungry demons who use bestsellers to wipe (right? Of course), then we can assume the book is good. Or decent. Or at least someone enjoys it. So maybe we shall enjoy it as well. It has been my personal experience that when I buy a book with a bad-looking cover, the book itself is quite bad. If little work is put it to market the book, the writing may be insipid and almost unreadable anyways. So, are covers a good gauge for judging books? Of course they are! Sure, you could read the book as well to find out that you don’t really like it that much.
Book covers also feature these neat and useful blurbs from published articles and esteemed reviews. When we read what others say, it helps make that crucial choice: do I want to read this?
Also, there is usually a concise summary of the story that might entice you to open the book. These are little marketing goldmines, where a reader can simply find out whether or not this is a book he or she might read. And they’re on the covers! So, take that third grade philosophy.
If not for covers, then why do we pick up books? For the coolness of the titles? Which are displayed on… covers?
Well, I rest my case. I’ve never not judged a book by its cover, and sure, I’ve been disappointed that books with cool covers. And I may have missed a few good stories by ignoring less interesting or gaudy book jackets, but without outright reading every book in a store, how else can a reader know which ones to read?
Here are some cool covers: