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  • Janelis Medina

Should you judge a book on it's cover?

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER! This is one of the first things we hear in school whether teachers are actually referring to book covers or people. It is a beautiful saying theoretically, don’t judge a person by what you see, but I can’t say I agree when it comes to books. There are millions of books in the world and a good majority of them are interesting and captivating reads. They can’t all be read by the average reader, so how can we navigate and choose a good book? We might hear about them being on the New York Best-sellers list or advertised on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We also might follow Bookstagrammers who are constantly posting up the latest popular read! However, what is it that draws our attention when we walk through a bookstore? The book cover!

So my husband knows I am notorious for taking forever when finding a book because I need the book cover to grab my attention. As a matter of fact, that is the main influencer for me when choosing a book. I love covers that are colorful and bright or that have some kind of landscape that looks mysterious because I love how they stand out on my bookshelf, just tempting me to read them (again and again). I also will grab pretty much any book that has a cake or cupcakes or any kind of food on the cover. As much as I try to aim for covers that are captivating, I have read some great books that don’t have great covers because they have had a reputation that far outweighs the unattractive cover, but I am usually less inclined to purchase those books. So am I just being a picky reader?

I think that books should be more wary about their covers and how their book looks. Yes, the summary at the back of the book should also help entice a reader to purchase it but really now when there’s 10 other interesting looking books next to a plain one on a shelf, you can’t blame a reader for going with what best piques their interest. Most books don’t have any pictures in them, so the cover of the book is a great place to be creative and provide some kind of insight as to what we will expect in the book or a unique identifier of an author. I can usually identify a Nicholas Sparks or Stephen King or Sophie Kinsella novel based solely on how the cover looks. The color, the feel, the designs on the cover of the book are always going to be a reader’s first impression for what to expect that’s on the inside, so authors should really take advantage of this opportunity to really make a statement.

So should you base a book on it’s cover? If you are someone who is willing to look past an ugly cover because you have faith in the content inside, all power to you! But for me, old habits die hard and most of the time a creative cover contains a riveting novel inside so I’m not gonna fix a system that ain’t broke!