Melody

Musing Mondays

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?

I don't buy books based on their covers, but I do pick up books with attractive covers simply I am intrigued by their beautiful artwork and I am curious to find out what the stories are about. Personally, I think having an attractive cover is especially important to a debut novel because even if the story is fantastic, it still needs an eye-catching cover so that readers will pick it up and read all about it.

However, that does not mean I will buy any book with an attractive cover either. Though an attractive cover does make me pick up the book, still I will have to check the blurb and see if it interest me enough to buy it. Honestly, I cannot remember if I had bought any books based on the cover alone; I suppose I did on a few occasions and it turned out that the stories aren't that bad after all!

Now that we are discussing about covers, have you ever heard someone commented that certain covers do not fit the story plot well or that the models (never mind if they are illustrations or real life models) have mislead the readers somehow? What do you think of them?

And finally, back to the question... do you judge a book by its cover and have you ever bought any books based on their covers?

17 Responses
  1. Jeane Says:

    I totally agree that eye-catching covers will grab a reader's initial curiosity. I have at times been annoyed with cover art that didn't seem to match the book well. And if I'm looking for a book to add to my own library, I will sometimes seek out ones that have the covers I like. Because I'm going to look at them again and again!


  2. mattviews Says:

    Beautiful covers are eye candies. But I have to make sure that the book itself is "up my alley" or I'll just leave it at the bookstore. :)


  3. Mae Says:

    Unrelated covers are very misleading and confusing! One that comes to mind at the moment is the Australian edition of 'The Angel's Game' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I still can't work out what the cover means in relation to the story!


  4. Alice Teh Says:

    Hi Melody, if I were to answer this question, my answer would be the same as yours. :)


  5. Rebecca Says:

    Hi Melody, I've been caught out by covers that didn't quite match the covers myself - would you mind terribly if I usurped your musing for a follow up question for next week's MM?


  6. Julia Says:

    I guess having an attractive and beautiful cover might help make sale because it eye-catching.

    However, I am one of the people who always compliant about book covers not matching what it is in the story. Or models on the cover does not fit the characters inside the story. But I like to be able to vision the true characters and story as it is told :) This does not mean that I don't like attractive covers either :)


  7. Melody Says:

    Jeane - Me too, Jeane! If a book has two different versions, I'd definitely pick the most attractive one! ;)

    Matt - Glad we share the same thoughts! :)

    Mae - I've never read anything by Carlos Ruiz Zafon so I've no idea what the story is about. It's a pity that the covers didn't offer me any clues either.

    Alice - We've a lot of things in common, LOL.

    Rebecca - Sure, I've no problem with it. :)

    Julia - I think having a good cover is important to a story in a way. It either gives credit or ruin the story, depending how one look at it.


  8. A book cover might catch my eye but the content is what I lok for!

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  9. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    I am a sucker for book covers. It will at least make me pick up the book, but there needs to be something of interest going on in the story for me to buy it.


  10. violetcrush Says:

    I have bought books based on the cover alone. Just yesterday I bought this book with a desert and a man on a camel. Well, it would be fair that I bought this entirely on the cover. I saw the author was from Middle East and I love stories set in Middle East. So yes, a combination of the author and the cover. I did not even read the blurb. I hope it's good though.


  11. I find the cover gets me to pick the book up and consider it (read the back blurb, couple of pages, etc.), but doesn't solely influence my decision.

    I have heard that people found that certain covers were misleading, etc., but I find that (personally), after I've bought the book, the cover doesn't make much of a difference--I don't think about it any more.


  12. Iliana Says:

    Back when I used to read romance novels I think some of those had the worst covers. Heroes whose descriptions didn't match the cover and of course just so over the top!

    Definitely a good cover catches my attention first of course but if the story doesn't sound interesting to me then I won't get it.


  13. okbolover Says:

    I do recall some books that had covers which had nothing to do with the book. Although the titles don't come to my head at the moment. You know those VC Andrews covers? sometimes they have people on there that look nothing like the characters in the book. That's a good example I guess.

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  14. Frances Says:

    I am always a little annoyed when the cover does not suit the book content. Anyone seen the UK cover on Olive Kittredge? What were they thinking? Also am a snob about movie tie-in covers. Won't have one. Silly. I am almost ashamed to admit it!


  15. caite Says:

    I agree it is maybe more important on a debut novel, where I am not familiar with the author, to get me to take a closer look.


  16. Melody Says:

    Gautami - Indeed!

    Sandy - I guess most of us readers share the same thoughts when that is concerned.

    Violet - I hope you'll enjoy the book as much as the cover! :)

    Literature Crazy - I tend to forget the cover (even if it's a bit) if the story is great! ;)

    Iliana - Some of the romance covers have the most misleading concepts, but most of the times I tend not to link the models to the characters of the story, and I guess that helps! :P

    Okbolover - I haven't read any VC Andrews books, but I guess I won't go wrong to think that most of their stories revolve around the different characters of the series since they always have images of young women on it?

    Frances - I'm not a huge fan of movie tie-in covers either. I think they're just a gimmick for movie goers to read the book. ;)

    Caite - Having an attractive cover definitely helps a debut novel in getting some attention!


  17. Trish Says:

    The only time I buy a book solely based on the cover is at huge library sales. I've picked up a number of books because of the cover only--last year I remember picking one up just because it had cats on the cover. :) Other than that, I usually have a list of books I'm looking for rather than just browsing to browse.