Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't judge a book by its cover, or do you?

I think everyone knows this English idiom. It's a metaphorical phrase which of course means "you shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone".
Now there is something I have to confess: I'm Renée, and I *do* judge books by it's cover.

It feels good to get that confession of my chest. Yeah, I judge my books by their looks. If a book has an amazing cover, I have to read it! But if everyone is raving about a story, but the cover sucks... It's bye bye book...

But does this mean I'm missing out on some amazing stories with an ugly exterior? Probably... 
Do I think I can change? Probably not...

I love pretty covers! A gorgeous cover is for me a reason to buy a book. When I'm in a bookstore I even stroke the pretty covers! 

So does this make me a bad person? Or is this screening process working for me? 

Let's check some covers of books I've read:

I LOVED this cover. Cool kick-ass chick, smoking red dress, great background, and of course the most amazing weapon ever (I don't know if you know this, but I have a thing for crossbows) the crossbow!

But did this cover mean it was an amazing story? Hell yeah! 
One of my favorite books EVER!

So that's 1 for judging books.

Darkness & Light (Holloway Pack, #1)
As soon as I saw this cover I had to read it. It was cool, interesting, original. I can't really say why, I just needed to know more about it.
The genre was a new genre for me, but I tried it anyways. And I was glad I did. It's now one of my favorite series and Julie is one of my favorite authors and bookish friends.

Darkness & Light (A Holloway Pack Story, #1)BUT after a while D&L got another cover, a cover that fitted the rest of the series. And truth be told, I don't know I'd have read this novel only based on it's cover if it had this cover to begin with. (SRY JULIE!)

So I read this novel, because of it's cover, and loved it. So that would make it another point for my screening process. But I wouldn't have read this book based on it's new cover (I guess I would still have read it though, because of my co-blogger Jen's raving reviews), so that means a point against judging books.

That would make the score now: 2 points for screening by looks vs 1 point against.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)
This book, I wouldn't have read if it wasn't for it's cover. 
As soon as I saw this cover I was intrigued. I needed to know more, so I looked it up on Goodreads. But the blurb on there didn't really interest me, so I decided to put the book on my 'might read' shelve and forgot about it. But I kept seeing this cover, and the more I saw it, the more I needed to read it. 

And I was so glad I did! I loved it!

So that's one point for screening books AGAIN! That makes 3 vs 1.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I HATE the first cover! HATE IT! I think it looks horrible! I read some amazing reviews about this story, but just couldn't put myself to picking up this book. But when they released it in it's new cover I did read it. And I have to say, I'm glad I didn't miss out on this book. It's a great story.

Again a point against judging books by it's cover, which makes the final score: 3 vs 2.

The final score isn't really convincing me to stop judging. And to be fair, I never think I will. But I will try to keep an open-mind and read books that other people are raving about, but aren't great lookers.

What about you guys? Are you a judger? And are there any books you've read and loved, but you hated the cover? Or the other way around, great lookers with a bad story?

Happy reading,


  1. Sometimes I do this TOO! I mean, if someone (like you guys) is raving about it and the cover is terrible, then I will read it eventually. But when picking out my next book, I do go for the prettier cover!

  2. I still haven't gotten used to people's obsession with covers! I think I spent too long reading traditional fantasy (which, as a rule, has terrible covers), and I learned to ignore the outside of the book. Plus, now I read a lot of books on my Kindle, so the cover doesn't matter at all. Of course, I prefer it when my covers aren't awful, but I think that has little to no impact on my decision to read a book.

    Of course, that's just for general attractiveness of the cover. Sometimes covers indicate something about the book, and that affects whether or not I will read it. For example, if the cover has two teens almost kissing, I will probably not read that book because I don't really like YA romance. But I don't think that's really what you're talking about ;)

    1. Kate, I think that maybe what turned me off from traditional fantasy at first. Nine times out of ten, thei covers are cheesed.

  3. I'm somewhere between you and Kate, the cover of a book makes me pick it up to read the blurb. But its the blurb on the back that makes me decide whether or not I want to read it.

  4. Hmmm, made me think. I guess I judge books more by reviews than covers. It's sort of two different things to me--artist or writer. I've never kept track of my hits and misses. I'm going to have to pay more attention.... Judith

  5. I admit, I do love a pretty cover! And yes, sometimes I will buy a book based solely on the cover. But if a book sounds good or has been recommended to me I will get it whether or not it has a good cover. I hate to think what books I would miss out on if a pretty cover was a requirement for purchase!!

    Ren, I like both Darkness & Light covers but I am partial to the new one ;)