One of the most ubiquitous rules of reading is Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover.
Raise your hand if you don’t abide by this rule. It’s ok–it’s one that I continually break as well.
As I very rarely read jacket covers or the back of a book before I start it, when I’m browsing books at the store the only thing I have to go on is the cover and perhaps word of mouth.
There are certain genres that I tend to stay away from, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized why…it’s because the covers generally have pictures of real people. And then the light went off…I do NOT want to see people on a book cover. I will always give preference to something that is nondescript or vague. Although, caricatured pictures or artistic pictures are OK–it’s the ones that show an actual person that turn me off.
These are books I’ve ignored (even though I own more than half of them) because of the pictures on the covers:
The genres where I see this the most? Romance! Besides the fact that I’m not a fan of “happily ever after,” it’s the covers that always push me away from these books. Even the ones with the cowboys (what can I say, I am Texan…). Movie tie-in books are just as appalling to me and I think it has more to do with there being actual people on the cover than anything else.See also Paranormal. Celebrity memoirs seem to be the exception to this rule.
WHY don’t I like people on covers??
I don’t know why I don’t like seeing people on a book cover. Idiosyncratic Trish? Though I suspect I prefer nondescript covers so that I can imagine characters on my own terms. I don’t want to be forced an image of a character while I’m reading the book. You know that feeling you have when you are reading a book and you see the actors who will play the roles in an upcoming movie and they feel completely wrong? I’m sure you can offer up some great alternative reasons in the comments!
I’m trying to overcome this judgement of mine. Of course ebooks help because you’re not continually reminded of the cover everytime you see the book, but I admit that I pass up books over and over because I don’t like the cover. I recently forced myself to read The Madonnas of Leningrad. Even though the cover features a painting-like quality of picture, I kept passing up that face for other things. It’s ridiculous, I know.
Do you judge books by their covers? What turns you off of a book? And how do you feel about seeing real people on book covers?
Books Recently Finished: The only book I’ve finished recently is Unlatched by Jennifer Grayson–the tagline is “the evolution of breastfeeding and the making of a controversy). My feelings on the book are fairly complicated and I had a sort of love/hate relationship as I was reading. Chapter titles such as “What Would Jesus Drink?” made me roll my eyes but there was also interesting information about the roll that formula has played in breastfeeding over the past half century.
New Books in the House: I have a big stack of books out from the library, but I did get a copy of Budget Bytes from Avery Publishing.
New Books on my E-Reader: I couldn’t resist The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi when it came up on Daily Deal. I also picked up a copy of Germinal by Emile Zola (ebook and audio) for a readalong with Care, Melissa, and others.
Books on the Nightstand: I’m about halfway through What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty for a book club date that has already passed. I hate people like me. I’m really enjoying the book a lot but I underestimated how long the book was. Since that’s a paper book, I started Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey on my phone. It’s really annoying but I’m hoping to glean some helpful information from the book. And Germinal on audio. I should be reading that on my phone/ereader as well but haven’t gotten there yet. TMM is a little more brainless. ;)