Monday, March 22, 2010

Judging Books By Their Covers

I like to pretend that I buy books based only on literary merit... but I don't think I'm fooling anyone. I'm a sucker for pretty covers - how about you? (Pictured right is the Australian cover for The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han - my favourite cover right now.)

I quizzed some teens on their favourite book covers (and got very different responses!), and whether they buy a book based off the cover alone...

"I'm incredibly easy influenced by shiny things, so a book cover is really make or break for me," says Helen, a 14-year-old private school student and book lover living in the US. "A favorite one... The cover of Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. Look it up, find it at a bookstore, and stare at it. Just keep staring. Then read the book, and look at the cover again. It's so lovely and intricate and light and... fairy."

Precious, an 18-year-old university student in the Phillippines, says: "Whenever I step inside a bookstore, the first things that I see are the covers – not the titles, not the summaries. I tend to buy a book just by the cover. The covers should be given attention. They aren’t just plain things that you place on top of a creative work. They reflect what’s inside the pages.

An example of a book cover that I love love love is the cover of Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Upon seeing the cover alone, I already knew that the novel is dark and mysterious. The guy in the cover (Drew Doyon) showed the fall of Patch. It wasn’t just his being cast out of heaven. It also showed how he lost his power, his status and his home."

"It is natural for humans to see someone or something and judge them/it. Even if we don’t say what we are thinking out loud, it is human nature to judge a book by its cover. If I like the cover of a book or a CD, I’ll definitely pick it up and try to learn more about it," says Robby, a 14-year-old aspiring writer and musician (and blogger!). "A book cover I really love is A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian. Four Polaroids of four different girls, all different and all similar. The cover relates to the story more than I thought it would. I saw the book cover and automatically picked it up and bought it. It’s one of my favorite books, hands down."

So, What are your favourite book covers?

Do you ever buy books based off the cover alone?

What makes a great YA book cover?


Post a Comment