Hi, Hey, Hello!
Okay, I’m just gonna say it. Not judging books by their covers is hard. And I don’t mean this in a metaphorical sense. I’m talking about actual physical books (there’s been a lot of book talk this week, I know). I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten distracted by a pretty cover in a bookshop (let’s say it happens about 3 times a month, for years). I stare at them and gently touch the covers almost like they are made of easy to tear tissue paper. I stroke along hands to get the “true” feel of it (I honestly don’t know what that means, but there you go).
I go into bookstores just to stare at the covers sometimes. Each one standing proudly before me and daring me to pick them. Beautiful colours all perfectly swirled together with stunning typography. Or simple colours and images that intrigue me purely because they are so minimalist (one of the many reasons why The Rosie Project grasped my attention for months before I actually bought it was because it was just a lobster on a white background (that also reminded of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and that’s never a bad thing)). A lot of the reason why I love bookshops is the fact that I get to be surrounded by book covers each with their own possibility. Eye catching ones that catch my attention, make me tentatively pick them up, turn them over in my hands and flick through the opening pages (because blurbs don’t satisfy my curiosity tbh) and always call me back to them.
In a bookshelf setting I am all about the aesthetics. I’m sorry, but I just am. I won’t lie, I have left books sitting on the shelf in the shop because the cover didn’t do it for me (although the title probably hadn’t either in all honesty). A little thrill of excitement moves through me when I am confronted with a choice for my new book cover. Like sometimes it overwhelms me because I can’t decide they’re all so pretty. I feel a small twinge of jealousy when I see book covers that are available in other countries (Harry Potter and The Night Circus, I’m looking at you) because I know it is highly unlikely that they will ever grace the shelves of my bookcase (that I currently do not own but will one day).
Don’t even get me started on book series covers (again Harry Potter I’m looking at you). They need to match. In an ideal world they would ALWAYS match. When I realise that they can’t a small part of me dies for a second (and then I buy a new book with a beautiful cover and get over it). If they can’t have matching covers (weep) then they had best be the same size (why do books change size randomly within a series, seriously? What is that about?). I crave some kind of uniformity dammit.
If I’m venturing into the world of online bookshopping (which I do less now because I like the feeling of being in a book shop (if that wasn’t obvious at this point)) I check to see if there are multiple covers available. And then, yes I try and decide, through a screen, which one I think is the prettiest and I’m going to enjoy gazing at more.
I should say (so that I don’t sound completely shallow) that I don’t always do this by any means. I had very little regard for what the cover of a book looked like when it came to course books. I was an English student who liked (and still does) to mark books up, the only thing they really needed was substantial pages so that I didn’t tear them up with pencil. Oh and to be cheap (up to 24 books (sometimes more, sometimes less) in a semester gets costly if you’re cover snobby). And if there is a book that I really, really want I will get it by any means necessary, a nice cover is just a great bonus.
But outside of that? I’m sorry, but I judge a book by its cover. Good or bad, interesting or boring and everything in between.
I really went to town with these today, why are there so many doubles?? But, parentheses count: 18. See you tomorrow!
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