Friday, September 11, 2015

Do You Judge Books By Their Covers? (spoiler: i do)

Whenever there's a Top Ten Tuesday that has to do with recommending books, I always end up with a pile of new titles added to my TBR. It's just inevitable! Everyone's listing their ABSOLUTE FAVORITES and I get so excited and add them ALL.

Of course, I read the blurb and whatnot, and look it up on goodreads for my friends' reviews. But before I do all that - I look at the cover. The prettier the cover, the more likely I will look further into the premise of the book.

I shamelessly, shamelessly judge books by their covers. Most of them, anyway.

The thing is, I grew up on classic literature. With the classics, there is usually more than one edition of a book, so there's no such thing as The Cover. Usually, the designer slaps portrait art of someone else on the cover, with the title boldly thrown across, like so:


Who are these guys? Who knows? But we know they're all real people who at some point sat to have a portrait drawn, never knowing that it would end up on the cover of a book. But hey! They're youngish men from the right era, so you can totally imagine them to be The Count, right?

Or if you don't want a classical style portrait, perhaps a classical painting of a landscape or castle?


As you can see, there are billions of covers for each classic book. I would never know which one my library had, so I'd have to go with whatever was available. Eventually, when I knew which classics I wanted to add to my personal collection, I'd go out and find the pretty covers. Like these: *heart eyes*


But because I grew up on classics, I learned to appreciate the genius inside without even considering what was on the cover. (Whoops don't mean to throw unintentional life lessons at you!) So when I started to read books with still-alive-authors, books that were only in their first edition (imagine that!), I really disregarded the cover. I read for the beautiful words, I told myself, the cover doesn't matter.


That all changed the more I got into YA and MG by still-alive-authors. Nowadays, I will totally read a book if all I know about it is that it has a gorgeous cover, especially if it's middle grade.

Personally, I really enjoy artsy covers, especially ones with a lot of intricate detail. Photography doesn't thrill me as much. I want my bookshelf to be a gorgeous art gallery! And I've found MG covers satisfy this way more often than YA or Adult covers. I don't know why, I'm really really into MG covers. I think it's something to do with the ethereal mystery of MG books in general. Feast your eyes:

23531315 23507745 23310699 24331400 22749539 17402724

So it makes sense that YA covers that attract me are the ones that follow the style of MG cover-art:

23719270 22616123 24737347 23399232 24565038 23315831 22544764 20345202 22521951

Basically, I really really like covers that are artsy and bold, without much photography. Bonus points if they have a cool script-y font. There are other covers I like but this style - artsy and font-sy - is almost certain to make me look twice at a book I know nothing about.

So I guess I do judge books by their covers - unless they're classics.

Are you a shameless-cover-judger? Or are you able to disregard the cover when buying books? What's your favorite cover-design style?


  1. I am a shameless reader who judges a book by its cover. I know that the cover has nothing to do with the inside, but it's hard to remind myself of that. The Sin Eater's Daughter, for example, immediately attracted me because of its beautiful cover. It ended up being a huge disappointment. I always seem to be attracted to covers that are bright and colourful with girls on the front in a beautiful dress. I have no idea why lol ...

    Then there is Jennifer L Armentrout's books. The covers for her books are awful, in my opinion. I would have never picked up Obsidian if it wasn't for the glowing reviews. So, I suppose unless it already has positive reviews, I somewhat ignore the books with the "ugly" covers. I need to get out of that habit. XD

    Sarah @ The Reading Petal

  2. I get you. I get you SO MUCH.

    I didn't grow exclusively on classics but here's the thing: when I first got my library card, my library was in the habit of stripping hardbacks of dust covers and also had lots of library binding editions (which were plain dove grey, title only on the spine). I simply couldn't judge books by their covers because they were mostly the same. Imagine that!

    That contributed to my obsession with buying pretty editions of everything I like. Or that's what I tell myself.

    And we have the same taste! I almost bought a copy of Wildwood because I liked the cover so much. I wasn't even interested in the story!

  3. I luuurvee judging books by their covers! I will always do it and I will even buy a certain edition of a book to get the nicest cover (even if it means paying more).

  4. YES I AM A SHAMELESS COVER JUDGER. *hyperventilates at the beauty in the YA/MG section here* Ahhh, I hadn't heard of Serafina and the Black Cloak and now I want it 1000%. SO YEAH. You could say I get sucked in by covers. ;) I feel like it's okay, too, because the cover is like a preview of the book. So beautiful covers = eye catchy = makes me pick up the book faster = IT'S A GOOD THING! :D

  5. I am such a cover judger and these are ALL SO PRETTY!! I like quite simple covers, like the ones you showed for Untwine and Emmy & Oliver. I judge books by the title, too, if that's even a thing. If I'm in a bookshop, the spine of the book is the first thing one sees so if it's just grey or something I'm not going to pick it up haha

    Eliza xx;

  6. The covers of classics are soooo boring. I love seeing them get a make-over! And all the covers you posted are so gorgeous. I love this style of art too!

  7. Wow, those covers are gorgeous. It's just eye candy scrolling through your post. I tend to judge books by their covers too; even if I love the book, it takes something out of it if the cover is ugly. And I'd definitely read a book just because the cover was beautiful. Now I'm wanting to try some of the ones you posted. :D

  8. I am such a cover-judger. It's like I'm attracted by shiny things, some pretty book just catches my eye... and I know it's unfair, because the author might not have had any control over the "marketing material" which is what the cover is.

  9. I seldom choose a book for its cover. For me a good title can be the hook (though that doesn't always prove a satisfying method). Some titles I love:


Book discussions make the world a better place! Write me a comment - I respond to each and every one, I promise. So check back!

(YES! I LOVE TAGS and I do them! So tag away! But no bloggerly awards, though, like the Liebster or the Sisterhood of World Bloggers. Thank you!)