Friday, 22 June 2012

Never judge a book by its cover?

They say "Never judge a book by its cover". That might ring true metaphorically in a lot of situations but, literally, it does not. Of course, I judge a book by its cover. And in 99% of the cases, the result speaks for itself. I've never seen a pink book that isn't a chick lit, for instance. Or, another example, a lot of crime stories are black. The thing is, that's what the publishers want us to do, they want us to judge the books by their covers, they want us to think that this book appeals to us, they want us to buy it. Why else would they choose certain colours, certain images? The design changes throughout the years. Why? Why not keep the original cover, even if it is a couple of hundred years old? Because it wouldn't sell as well. And why change the cover as soon as a movie is out? Because people remember the movie and want to buy the book.

We can actually use this to our advantage. If you don't like chick lits (sorry, but it is just such a great example), stay away from pink and purple. Easy as that. The colour of a cover often says more about the book than those magazine blurbs, e.g. ABC newspaper says "Fantastic book!" or XYZ critic "Best novel since ..." I don't even have an idea about the content there.

Both the colour and the jacket design tell us a lot about the book, about the reader it is looking for. We can guess the genre, the style, even the story. That doesn't mean it isn't misleading sometimes, but generally, it is a good help. Recommendations from friends or other helpful readers, articles about a book, reviews on your favourite internet pages, they all contribute to getting a good selection of literature appropriate for the individual but if you're on your own when you come across something new, which is your favourite colour?

So, go ahead, judge books by their covers! Pick the ones that appeal to you most. The most important part is, that you read those you might like most. After all, you are reading the novel, not the cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment