This post was inspired by Books, j’adore’s review of Two Boys Kissing. She mentions how the cover was a bit misleading to the actual book and how that turned others away from reading it. That got me thinking about the fact that I, too, judge books by the cover. Then I started to wonder how much of my opinion is affected by a book’s cover instead of its content.
I don’t know ANYONE who isn’t guilty of judging books by their covers. For a while, I felt really bad when I did this. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I’ve heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” more times than I can count in my lifetime.
However, I think Maria from Books, j’adore is right about the fact that the phrase may be more for people than books. The point of the cover is to reflect the book. It’s supposed to catch attention, but not just any attention- the attention that’s going to urge readers to pick up the book and read it.
I think that in order for the cover to do that, it must properly reflect the book so that it can attract the type of people who would ENJOY the book for what it is. Not for what it looks like it might be.
I guess this could go both ways:
– the book cover doesn’t reflect the book, but you like the book anyway, or
– the book cover doesn’t reflect the book, and you end up disliking the book.
In the first scenario, you most likely don’t mind. Sure, the cover could be better and actually give you an idea of the book, but you don’t really care because you like the book anyway.
In the second scenario, it probably really bothers you. You were expecting a book like the one that popped into your mind when you first saw the cover. You might even feel a bit cheated by the fact that the cover is so misleading.
Although, I tend to assume a book is great if it has a fabulous cover- just because. My mind goes “pretty cover = awesome book.” This gets me into tons of trouble because I often end up reading books I don’t like simply because of the cover. Which is both a waste of time (and sometimes money) and can lead to a DNF review. (DNF reviews haunt me if you don’t know, so it’s a very bad thing for me.)
I try to at least base more of my opinion on the summary and other reviews, but the cover DOES play a role in my decision of whether or not to read a book.
You should definitely check out Maria’s review of Two Boys Kissing. It not only inspired me to read the book, but also to write this post! 😀