Friday, September 11, 2009

Book Covers!

"Don't Judge a Book by its Cover". We've all heard this phrase. I heard it when I was very young and many times while growing up. I heard it applied to people and was taught not to judge them, I learned not to assume I knew how a particular situation was going to play out and not to judge somwething, anything strictly by apprearance. I mentioned in previous posts, my mother was an avid reader and she showed me that a pretty book cover or a plain, somewhat boring book cover wasn't necessarily an indication of the story behind it. I was told, literally, not to judge a book by its cover. I don't but, in all honesty, covers can influence my initial interest in a book. Pretty or interesting covers (like the one above for Swimming Towards the Ocean or several of the covers for Jane Austen's books) draw me to a book and I hope there's a good story inside, plain or boring covers disappoint me a little bit but don't deter me from reading the book. I've discovered that a scary or unnerving cover (like Kafka's The Trial above) usually means the story is a thriller or horror tale or contains spine-tingling elements. I like book covers because they excite me about the writing inside. They're our introduction to the book and, as such, I think they are an important part of the book. I have read some books and I have viewed the cover in a different light than I did before reading the story! (The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny is such an example!)

There's an interesting article about designing book covers and the importance of a good book cover in Smashing Magazine along with some great examples of eye-catching covers.

There is a wonderful blog for the Book Cover Archive Blog and it includes a link to the Book Cover Archive with pages and pages of book covers. There are beautiful covers, funny covers, disturbing covers, scary covers and basic ones. If you want to try your own hand at fashioning a cover yourself or maybe you have a book with a cover you just don't like, check out My Penguin Design Your Own Cover. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking about it as a gift for someone!

Are there book covers that you specifically liked or disliked or that caused you to read or not read a book?
My computer is getting irritated at me and almost deleted my post (it's pouring rain here so maybe that's why?!) so I better stop here if I want this to make it into my blog today!


  1. I am really bad as I am always attracted to a pretty cover. I wish I wasn't but they just draw me in.

  2. I admit, I judge by covers, but have often gotten burned by that notion. That Kafka cover is just crazy!

  3. I would have to say that I am often drawn to books by their covers, but usually in the case of vintage or antique books. I have a collection of vintage childrens mystery books that I bought, not so much to read, but because I couldn't resist the look of them. They're packed away right now, but I'm planning to display them in my office if we ever get around to building the bookshelves I want!

  4. If we weren't drawn to pretty cover publishers would just put them all in brown paper wrappers.

    I admit covers attract me. Like Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Without question it was the cover that made me book at the book twice. Or Circle of that cover, if not so much the book.

  5. Confections of a Master Baker will be baking live on Fox Austin Monday around 8:50 a.m.