Do judge a book by its cover

When was the last time you bought something that didnt look nice? Let’s say, a perfume or a box of chocolates that wasn’t packaged attractively? Unless it was heavily discounted, you probably wouldn’t have even looked at it.

Pouf- you’re a new woman/man

The fact remains that we DO judge by outward appearances. The packaging is important. And this is especially important in the world of books.

Unless we’ve heard of a great book, or unless it’s a well-known author, how you choose a book not only depends on the blurb, but also to a certain extent, the picture on the front cover.

Sometimes, of course, book covers are misleading. This is especially true of literary fiction written by women which have “tarted up” covers just so that people would buy them. This is doing a great disservice to women writers.

For the most part, though, the average reader often buys a book based on that front cover. It has to not only have something to do with the book, but also be eye-catching. Take for instance Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series. Each of the book covers has a fashionably dressed woman and funky colours, just to show it’s a fun read.

Well, all those proverbs you learnt in school, about not judging a book by its cover and so on, applied to that earlier age when book covers had not become a selling point. Book cover designers are in high demand, and if they make a name for themselves, can demand thousands of $$$! And rightly so, as the right cover can often make or break a book, even in this age of the kindle.

What are some of the iconic book covers you remember? Is it Jaws by Peter Benchley, with the sinister shark at the bottom? Or the stark simplicity of the cover of To Kill a Mockingbird? The Harry Potter series have undergone many cover changes over the years, but the fantastical elements remain.

So the next time you buy or borrow a book, have a good, hard look at the cover. There is so much hard work and so much imagination that goes into that front cover. Chances are, you may pick it up based just on this one aspect!

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