Yes, Sometimes I Do Judge Books By Their Covers

Yes, Sometimes I Do Judge Books By Their Covers 1024 576 Reader Views
Skyler Boudreau

All of us have walked into at least one bookstore and left with at least one book solely because its cover was pretty. I know I’ve done it, and you know you’ve done it too. It’s fine. I get it. Sometimes you see a book that you just know would look great on your bookshelf, and you don’t have any choice but to buy it.

There are a lot of different things that go into creating an attractive book cover, and all readers have their preferences. Covers also look different from genre to genre. I’ve never picked up a book based on the cover and expected a fantasy, only to discover it was actually a contemporary. Everything from the artwork to the font is different.

Even if I don’t end up buying anything, I love wandering bookstores and admiring the covers. The ones I pick up tend to be the most ambiguous. I like ones that convey a unique vibe, while also leaving me with questions.

The cover of Caraval by Stephanie Garber is a good example. It displays the title in an elaborate font, looped around a large star, set against a background of smaller stars. The rest of the trilogy has similarly styled covers. None of them give away anything about the books but do give the potential read a taste of the story’s aesthetic and atmosphere.

One of my favorite covers in the horror genre belongs to Another by Yukito Ayatsuji. The story centers around a series of gruesome deaths, all of which have a connection to a specific class of students in a local school. The cover is a drawing that shows part of a young girl’s face, shrouded in shadows, tendrils of which tangle with her hair. She’s smiling, but her eyes are completely blank. It’s a very spooky image for a very spooky book. Like the cover of Caraval, this one gives away very little of the story, beyond setting the general tone. Besides having gorgeous covers, Caraval and Another are both excellent novels and I highly recommend them!

I like book covers that are simple. Personally, I’m not a fan of ones that are overcrowded. When there are too many elements competing for a potential reader’s attention, it distracts from whatever the main point is meant to be. That’s not to say they can’t have more than one element. There are certainly books with very elaborate covers that I like a lot. All of the pieces just need to fit together in a way that makes sense.

Even so, I still tend to find that if I’m picking up a book purely based on the cover, it’s usually because one specific part of it drew me in. What about you?

What qualities draw you to a cover? Is there anything you find unappealing?

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