This discussion is coming to you all quite a bit later in the day than usual, purely because I’ve been busy lately and completely lost track of days…and then realised this morning that OOPS a chatty post was meant to be scheduled for today. And I didn’t write it last night, like I usually do. So here I am, writing it actually on the day for once.
So, today’s topic is a pretty easy one. Not particularly controversial, not too important, just a bit of fun and something good and lighthearted to talk about.
Isn’t that a phrase most of us bookworms like to live by?
Or rather…a phrase we like to think we live by.
Because we know how true it is. Judging books by their covers is basically paperweight prejudice.
But come on. It’s honestly hard not to judge a book by it’s cover. It’s can be what pulls us in. It can be the thing that catches our eye and makes us read the synopsis. It can be the thing that makes us want to collect more books (because let’s be real, there’s so many gorgeous covers out there).
Or…it can put us off. It can make us cringe away. It can give us the wrong impression of the story inside.
So what’s the verdict? What makes a good cover and what makes a bad cover?
I feel like I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to book covers. There’s not many I don’t like. But there’s a few things I’ve noticed I veer towards:
Personally, if I see a book with stunning typography, I want it immediately. Think of books like Passenger, A Darker Shade Of Magic and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – I love the fonts used on those!
A gorgeous colour theme grabs my attention (especially if all the series match!!!). I especially love the colours on Melinda Salisbury’s books, The Sin Eater’s Daughter series. And the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.
Shiny things. I’m basically a magpie. This one is specifically on here because I got an ARC of Caraval not long ago and can’t stop staring at it. It’s not even the final cover but it’s already stunning!
I hate seeing models on covers. I do admit that sometimes it works. But most of the time, I hate seeing people’s faces on covers. And WHYYYY are they always staring out of the cover, glaring into your eyes like they’re trying to change your soul? *shudders*
I like to be able to imagine the characters for myself. Take those faces off the covers, please and thank you.
What else…OH just any cover that looks plain. Like, they don’t necessarily put me off, but they don’t encourage me either.
Think of the original covers of The Bone Season series. I love them, they were bright and funky. Now…there’s been a cover change and they’re all just white with a little symbol in the middle. While I don’t hate them…I WANT THE ORIGINAL COVERS BACK. Yes I’m still salty about this.
Also, the “Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games!!” phrases. I’m just sick of those being scrawled across the top of every book ever.
I used to completely stay away from contemporaries. Admittedly, if they have a cover that makes me cringe, I still do stay away from them, but I’m learning.
Anna and the French Kiss – both the title and the cover made me cringe a bit (the old cover, I love the pink one). And now? It’s one of my favourite books!
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – I do like the cover, but it does make me cringe a bit. I mean, it’s a girl daydreaming while writing. It looks rather cliche. But I liked the book a lot!
Outlander – the covers aren’t horrible, and look good when they’re together, but on their own it’s a bit boring. But Outlander is one of my favourite books 🙂
I’m getting better at not judging by covers. But it’s hard, you know?
Of course they are!
Like I said before, a lot of the time, they’re what lures people in. When looking at the shelves of a bookstore, when there’s literally hundreds of books side by side to compete with, what’s the first thing you see? The cover and title! It needs to be eye catching.
Plus, it gives readers an idea of what to expect in the book. Most of the time (and yes, I’m saying most because sometimes cover designers can get it all wrong) the design will take on a similar feel to the story, so it will attract the right readers.
Yes, we all know we shouldn’t judge. But there’s been plenty a time I’ve seen a pretty cover and thought “OOOOH what’s that one about?!” and then cringed away from covers with loved up models in awkward positions.
And let’s be honest, most of us book collectors like our shelves to be aesthetically pleasing. So why wouldn’t we buy the pretty covers?
So now it’s your turn!
Do you judge a book by it’s cover, even if you don’t mean to? Do you sometimes scold yourself for doing so, like I do? 😆
What do you like seeing on book covers?
What puts you off a book if seen on the cover?
What are a few of your favourite and least favourite covers?
Do you think book cover design is important?
Join the discussion in the comments!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!