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On Covers

Musing Mondays2

This week’s musing asks:

Would you choose to review a book if its description sounded interesting but the cover was terrible?

Great cover doesn’t mean a book is going to be a fantastic read. That said, I am an equal opportunity reader as long as the subject manner is within my interests. Racy covers that are usually found in romance would be averted. My problem with covers is that they are more silly than ugly. Don’t even get me started on movie tie-in covers, which to me are such outrageous breach to the original cover art of a novel. I’m always mindful of not getting a book with a movie cover. My ultimate pet peeve is when publisher decides to add an unremovable banner to the book. Not that I’m a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy, but I can’t bear to see how movie tie-in monstrosity has ruined the book cover. It’s beyond ugly. Totally distasteful. To answer the question, I don’t mind an ugly cover if the book is good. I do prefer simple covers over the embellished ones or ones with people’s faces. Covers with photography I also avoid if I have a choice between different editions. I like covers with no art or just geometric patterns. Have you seen my new copy of Fitzgerald’s Flappers and Philosophers? Those gilded fan motifs remind me of the dividers in Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Now that is a classy cover.

17 Responses

  1. I can admit that I struggle hard with this but I have a legit excuse… PTSD from an evil librarian as a child http://cabingoddess.com/2012/03/musing-mondays-march-19 BUT good for you! LOL

    • Covers do help me choose sometimes when I have no clue what I want to get at the bookstore. Before the verdict I always pick up a book and read a few pages. That said, i still cannot stand movie tie-in covers.

  2. Flappers and Philosophers is gorgeous – both the title and the cover makes me want to buy it instantly!

  3. I don’t mind an ugly cover once I know the book is good, but I have definitely ignored awesome-sounding books because I didn’t like their covers. I didn’t read the Harry Potter books for years because I didn’t like the cover on the first one (and also because I didn’t like “Harry Potter and” in the title — still don’t!).

    • I’m the same with you. To be honest, I don’t want to be seen with books that have ugly cover. It makes me distasteful LOL I shopped around to get a copy of The Descendants that is not a movie tie-in cover, even though George Clooney is not bad-looking.

  4. Here’s to all of us cover snobs! Personally, I think some covers are downright insulting to the actual contents of the book. Like Jenny, I’ve ignored some really interesting premises because the covers are way too busy for my tastes.

    • I completely agree. In lieu of ugly covers I am more than happy to have cover that is free of any design or graphics, like those Penguins orange series.

  5. I hate the movie tie-in covers too! I NEVER buy one, no matter what! The cover of your Flappers and Philosophers is incredibly gorgeous and luckily the content was just as good!

    • There are books for which editions with original cover are no longer available. You will have better chance of finding them at used bookstores or library sales. recently I found a copy of The Descendants that is not a movie tie-in edition. That was a challenge!

  6. I am wary of covers that look half-assed or low-budget. The sad truth is that if the publisher didn’t put some time and effort and money into the design of the book, there’s probably a reason. This has been my experience–not always, but enough of the time to make me sit up and notice.

    Although in the age of e-readers, sometimes I have no idea what a cover looks like until I see it on the shelf weeks/months later. So maybe e-books are the great equalizer?

    • Covers do draw my attention. I have a tendency for books with more quiet, subdued covers, instead of some loud, colorful graphics. Covers tend to give a bad rep to books, at least it’s true for me. How bad is it when publishers release a whole series/oeuvre of works in bad, distasteful cover design?

  7. As I live in Holland I have taught myself not to judge a book by its cover. They seem to have a gift for choosing the most horrible covers over here. Same with titles by the way…
    England produces more covers I like. America on the other hand….usually too ‘loud’ for my taste!

    • Haha…it’s called bad taste. Some people in the industry are just clueless about their lack of taste. I have to agree that I’m more bent on UK editions. On my recent trip home to Hong Kong I stocked up on many UK editions. Some of them aren’t even available yet in paperback in the US.

  8. I must say the some covers are truly alluring so it’s rather tricky. Sometimes I do judge a book by it’s cover; other times, not really. It depends. Yet, geometric patterns are definitely superb!

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