Credit image: Kelley Lynn- Young Adult Author, Adventures Between the Book Ends blog.
We’ve all heard the saying that ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover.’ Yet, that’s exactly what we do as soon as we walk through the doors of a book store. Or at the screen of a tablet, kindle, nook and or mobile phone for the digitally savvy reader. In this day and age where we’re bombarded by images every day, wouldn’t thinking that you can’t judge a book by its cover be considered as nonsensical? For example, say you’re going to the bookstore like Barnes and Noble, Borders or an independent bookstore, to find a new book. Since you already know what genre(s) you like, you immediately head to that section, let’s say young adult. Now you stand there, arms folded with pursed lips, and one by one, row by row, you look at all the books on display. By now, other readers have picked up the books you weren’t interested in. Why? Aside from the possibility that they might know and follow that particular author, the only solid answer is that they were not aesthetically pleasing to your eye. (It’s a conundrum I’m currently facing as I’m both trying to come up with a book cover I love, that readers will also love and grab their attention).
Now we must ask ourselves, what is aesthetically pleasing to our eye? Personally, I find myself drawn to bold and simple minimalist styles as well as book cover designs illustrating the book’s characters and/or settings. What draws you in?
Of course, if you’re like me, after finding that magnetizing book cover, you’d take note of the title, the author’s name, read the short synopsis on the back, the author’s biography and the first couple of pages… PS I like to skip and read the ending of the novel… Basically you’re sifting for evidence that the book you’re inexplicably drawn to is worthy to sit on your bookshelf. Once satisfied, you’d either head to the register or begin your search anew for book #2 and so on. So by the end of the day, you’re returning home with several books, just one or sometimes none.
Take a look at the books you own or have stored on your ereader or device. Out of all of them, which cover designs do you like best and why? Which if any were surprising and new finds? Share and/or post pictures of your favorite book covers in the comments section below.
Food for thought:
Despite my current love for Harry Potter, originally I was never into the book series as much as everyone else. After constantly hearing about how great it was, I finally borrowed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from a college friend. Needless to say, I spent the entire weekend in my dorm, only going out to eat and use the bathroom. Soon after, I immediately went to the college library and took out Harry Potter books 1 through 4. Now I own all seven Harry Potter Books and seen all the Harry Potter movies. But ultimately what cinched my desire to read them in the first place was that I like the cover and that it was in my favorite color, blue.
Technically the picture above is a lie as it’s missing Order of the Phoenix (paperback) and The Half Blood Prince (hardcover). During a move, my two rotten bundles of joy got into the box I packed my books and tore to shreds book five and the cover for book six. To this day I’m still crying a river of blood.