Monday, July 20, 2009

Musing Mondays--Judging a Book by Its Cover

Do you feel disappointed when the covers don’t match the story? Have you ever been completely misled by a book cover?

I do very little book browsing anymore, and haven't done for quite some time. I get in enough trouble going into my favorite bookstores with my list; if I browsed as well, I'd be blogging from the Poor Farm... as along as they had Internet access.

In a very real sense, shopping with a list is freeing. I've never been a book cover junkie. One of only two things I've ever used them for is to give me that very first hint as to whether or not I might like the book.

I know there are books I've missed out on while browsing because they didn't have a cover that appealed to my roving eye. An example would be a book with a bodice ripper cover. You know the ones: steroidal hero with half his kilt missing standing out in a howling gale clutching a well-endowed young female who can't see a thing because her hair is whipping back and forth in front of her eyes. You'd think they'd both have enough sense to hie off into yon castle before said vixen gets a very serious chest cold. Anyway, I digress.

Those types of book covers don't do a thing for me. Never have. Therefore if I see one, I'm not going to pick it up, let alone take it home. So if anyone's written a witty whodunit and slapped McRoid and McVixen on it, I'm outta luck.

I honestly don't remember ever buying a book for the cover, then reading the book and being disappointed. I've been in retail too long, and my personal life only reinforces the truism that appearances can be deceiving. Nope. I'm one of these dull souls who only uses the cover to help her spot where she put down her latest read!

If you'd like to see more answers to this week's question, click the Musing Mondays graphic at the top of this post. Rebecca of Just One More Page does a fantastic job in hosting!


  1. I ususally don't buy books for their covers either. The cover might attract me to look at a book closer but ultimately it is not the reason I decide to buy and read a book. It did happen to me once that I got peeved by a completely wrong cover and couldn't stop thinking about how wrong it is all the while reading the book. It was The Red Siren where the supposedly main heroine on the cover had absolutely nothing to do with the one in the story. I did finish the book but I have a feeling I would enjoy it more if that woman on the cover weren't there.

  2. No browsing? You go, girlfriend! That's amazing to me! Browsing is my favorite hobby. Which is probably why have own more books than I'll ever be able to read. And I've learned to live with that. :-)


  3. As usual, you made me laugh. I was just picturing a bunch of book lovers blogging from the poor farm. I have been misled by a cover, but not enough for it to disappoint me.

  4. Great post!

    Have you seen the post Karen from EuroCrime makes about similar covers? She is wonderful at spotting them.

  5. Ahh covers. Well if it's pretty I pick the book up, if not I might just walk past it cos too many books and they need to catch my eye. But when i am reading then I don't care about the covers

  6. I review children's books, so covers are very important for my reviews, but for me, it is always the writing/illustration combo that dictates my choice. With adult books, I rarely even notice the cover, so intent am I on getting my greedy little hands inside!

    Cathy, I love the new look! Well, I loved the old one too, but it's like you've retained the charm but given it a freshen up.

  7. first, I must say that having just spent several days standing in a chilly river, not catching fish, I love that painting at the top of the page. Casting indeed!

    as to covers, I am a sucker for a pretty cover, at least in deciding what I take a second look at in a store or on a shelf. assuming I actually went looking for books in stores anymore.

  8. Lilly--To me all covers are good for is that first split second of attraction and then its usefulness when I'm wondering where I set my book down! :)

    Lezlie--I have a TBR "stack" that's at least 300 books, so the only thing I can say in my defense is: Can you imagine what it would be like if I still browsed?!?

    Kathy--I think they should have a special wing in the farmhouse just for us!

    Dorte--She is great at spotting them. Me? If I notice anything, I just shrug and walk on by!

    Blodeuedd--You're right...when we're reading, who cares what the cover looks like? :)

    Thanks for stopping by, Brooke!

    Susan--Thanks for the thumbs up on my new look!

    Caite--"Casting" seems to be rather popular. I'm glad I chose to put it up there. I'm like you--seldom ever in a brick and mortar anymore. :(

  9. Cathy ~ No defense required. I am in your position regarding a TBR stack, and I wish I had your control! :-)



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