Thursday, September 2, 2010

Judging books by their covers

Books are often released with different covers in different places (or at different times). You might buy one and then see the same book a year later and think, "Wow, that cover is so much cooler." 

I generally tend to prefer covers that have some kind of abstract picture on them, rather than covers that show actual, real people. Although I don't really mind real people on a cover as long as I can't see exactly who a person is, the reason being that I want to make my own picture in my mind about the way the characters look. It's fine if I can only see part of a person, like half their face, or their neck and shoulder, or their eye...

The following are some examples, with the first cover being my preference in each case:

I LOVE the original cover for "Twilight". I think it perfectly depicts what the novel is about, more so than the covers of the other the three books.

The second cover looks like some kind of erotica novel that I would never pick up, whereas the first cover has a mysterious air about it that is much better suited to the type of fantasy novel that it is - and that I'm far more likely to pick up!

The first one, definitely. Like I said, I want to be able to imagine my own characters. If there's a person on a cover and I don't like the look of that person, I'm not going to pick the book up.

There are, of course, exceptions to my own "rule"...

The second cover might leave you thinking that this is a story for little children - which it isn't. The first cover, however, is absolutely perfect for this story, and if you've read it I'm sure you'll agree. I can't see exactly who the boy is, and so my imagination is still free to conjure up it's own version of him.

What do you think?


Quinn said...

I'm generally the same way. I prefer abstract covers. If I don't like the way the character on the front of the book looks, I may not pick it up. I also like to be able to picture the characters myself.