Judging A Book By Its Cover

In the midst of updating favorite book covers on my website, I stumbled across a great site called bookcoverarchive.com. Browsing through their collection of incredible covers made me wish repeatedly that I’d read (at least some of) these books. Every cover was a perfect balance of visual pleasure, narrative cleverness and just enough of an edge of sophistication. Basically – almost exactly what I’d want in a book.

Here are a few of my favorites

And then my personal top pick – grabbing that spot for its cruel relevance and perfect irony…

The problem was, the more the magic of the covers worked on me and the more I longed to read these books, the more I worried about my judgement. Surely we all know not to judge a book by its cover?

Except that actually, it’s the only way we do. Marketing books and visiting book stores on a daily basis has, for the first time, put me on the front line of how books get bought, and unfortunately it’s not my fabulously written copy or my persuasive presence that sells a book – it’s the work of the graphic designer in the studio who may or may not have even read it.

This seems a little crazy, and feel free to disagree, but I can’t help feeling that in the age of Facebook profiles and digital cameras we can’t really be surprised that the first and last lines of defense are appearances.

[all covers are the copyright of their respective publishers]

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