Musing Monday – Book Covers

Musing Mondays (BIG) Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book covers€¦

We all know the old adage about not judging a book by it’s cover, but just how much sway does a book cover have when it comes to your choice of book €“ whether buying or borrowing? Are there any books you’ve bought based on the cover alone?

The book cover doesn’t have much effect on me when I’m deciding whether to buy a book. If I know the author or am looking for a specific title I take no notice of the cover. If I’m browsing then it’s the title that attracts me more often than than the cover and I’ll look at books even if the covers aren’t to my taste. If it has an attractive cover that’s a plus. Above all it’s the content I go by not the cover, so if the blurb reads well, plus the opening pages then I’ll pick that book.

If I’m at the library I have a slightly different approach and it’s there that I’ll sometimes just go for an attractive cover as a sort of “mystery” buy, without checking the content. Sometimes this works and other times it’s a complete failure.

6 thoughts on “Musing Monday – Book Covers”

  1. One of my favorite parts of the series As Time Goes By is when Alistair explains book cover photograhy to Lionel and Jean–it’s got to say “pick me up and buy me!” I understand that notion, but I rarely browse for books–having a long Amazon wish list carefully constructed from reading recommendations and reviews of bloggers!–so I think I am immune to that form of advertising. Also, when not being read, my books are on the shelf, and if I read a hardbound book, I always take off the dust cover to preserve it from wear and tear.


  2. The spine (and therefore title) are important when I’m choosing library books, but I’ve never quite managed to define what quality is needed to attract my attention. I must pass over lots of books I would enjoy, which is where reading book blogs comes in. I do enjoy a beautiful cover on a book I like, though, it can certainly enhance the pleasure.


  3. When my first novel came out in paperback, the Transworld sales rep assured me that all that mattered to booksellers he dealt with was the cover and not the story inside! I found this blunt bit of info rather depressing, but soldiered on nevertheless!


  4. Thanks for your comments.

    GeraniumCat I should have added that I don’t really know what attracts me about a cover – I had a look at Amazon whilst writing the post but was totally unable to decide what I liked and disliked, although sometimes it’s the colour scheme, sometimes it’s a beautiful scene and sometimes I just like/dislike it. So the covers for me are the least reliable guide to books.

    Martin, that’s dreadful – they might as well just sell pictures/photos. Don’t booksellers read books then?


  5. I admit is is an unreliable criteria, but I do know that covers do effect whether I pick up a book and give it a second look. Certainly if I am unfamiliar with the author or the title, something has to grab my attention.


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