Yes, I judge a book by its cover
I’ve mentioned (confessed) this a couple of times throughout this blog: I judge book covers. So allow me to explain myself? First off, I prefer to remove the word judge and instead offer up a new statement: I am affected by a book cover.
I am a visual person. I learn by seeing, I love art and movement and I understand most of the world through my eyes. A book cover to me is another form of art and, like any piece of art it can draw you in, repel you, intrigue you, anger you or make you a puddle of goo. I feel a book cover whispers to you about the potential of the story inside and because of this, book covers should be treated with care and respect. The book cover is a representation of the story inside, ready to fill one’s mind. It is a doorway that is either inviting or not. It is art. And if the author has put much of their blood, sweat and tears into the story – should the artist of the book cover not do the same? I admit that I don’t know how the process of matching book cover to story works. I would hope that whomever is creating the book cover first reads the story – I couldn’t see any other way to do it justice. Most likely, every process and publishing house is different but I really do hope that for the most part, the care, consciousness and intention that a story deserves when it comes to the house it lives in is taken into account.
I have probably missed out on some amazing stories due to a sloppy or confusing cover but I’ve come to terms with that. I am also aware that books have different covers in different countries and my question is why? Why change a cover if the cover itself isn’t important to the people buying the story? The Harry Potter books had different covers for the adults so that tells me there is consciousness in choosing.
Yes, there have been times I bought a book regardless of the cover because I realize art is subjective, I really do. And I’ve learned that maybe my negative reaction to a cover is just as telling as my absolute love of a cover. So against my better book-snobbish ways, I’ve bought these books and some I have been pleasantly surprised with. I’ve enjoyed the story and can look back at the cover and see the connection in the art. I’ve also been bit by this approach – beautiful covers can also house ugly stories. So it isn’t a perfect science in any way and I am changing my ways bit by bit. However I will always be of the mind that the cover of a book holds the potential of the book in itself. With great power, comes great responsibility.