Do You Judge?

I attended Readers for Life Literacy Autographing at the Anaheim Convention Center in July.  There were over 400 authors signing books with the proceeds going to Pro Literacy Worldwide and local literacy organizations.  Maps were given out, so you could easily find your favorite authors.  After I visited several of my favorites, I started wandering the aisles, stopping at different tables to meet as many authors as possible.  It took me about fifteen minutes to notice a pattern.  I was judging books by their covers.  Anything with a homey or colorful cover drew my attention. I passed the dark ominous covers, the more contemporary or modern covers, even the bare chested six-pack (and there were a lot) covers.

I stopped at one table and admitted to a New York Times Bestselling suspense author, that I recognized her name, but had never read one of her books.  After giving me a for-shame by rubbing both index fingers together she asked which of the two books on her table I’d like to read.  I picked one up and as she was signing it, she asked why I’d chosen that particular one.  The cover.  Both books looked and sounded intriguing, but one had a bright splash of red and that was the deciding factor for me.  Luckily, the author agreed she liked that cover the best, too.

What’s been bothering me ever since, is how many great books have I passed up, because the cover didn’t catch my eye?  And how many evenings have I wasted reading a book with a cover I loved?  I picked The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh because of the cover.  Couldn’t put it down.  Likewise, The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen.  Fun page turner.  Or how about Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas.  Loved it.

Is is just me or do you judge a book by it’s cover, and if so, what do you look for?

5 Comments on “Do You Judge?

  1. I do judge the book by it’s cover! I believe I have probably passed up some good books because the cover didn’t catch my eye!

  2. I believe that I can hontestly say I have never judged a book by its cover. This is most likely due to the fact that I generally, unless assigned by school, don’t read books that I haven’t heard of or aren’t referenced somewhere else previously. Maybe this makes me guilty of judging by a different means by only sticking to books that are somehow, in the world of Richard Newcomb, related in a complex web. It’s a good point that you bring up. We all have our tendencies and fallbacks when picking literature, and I wonder what we’d find if we strayed from our comfortable paths that we’ve made for ourselves.

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