Recently on my Bookstagram, I asked the question, How do you choose which books to buy? Is your decision influenced by the cover?
I think it is a question that readers are forced to feel guilty about. Yes, the point of a book, is about what is inside, the content. But why should we feel guilty for seeing something beautiful and wanting to pick it up?
As a reader, I am influenced highly by how I am feeling on any particular day. I choose books based on, thickness, if it is a paperback or hardcover, the author, if it has been overly present on social media, and of course, the cover or spine. And I have been made to feel guilty for it. Why does one persons personal choice need to be the right or wrong one? Isn’t that the beauty of reading, ten people may pick up the same book, but each have a completely different experience with it.
These days, covers are more reflective of the content they hold, or I think so anyway. One classic example of this is The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw.
This cover is absolutely stunning, in both paperback and hardcover editions. The hardcover, however is the true masterpiece, with silvery glistening accents. The reason I am showing you this, is because the cover perfectly encapsulates what the book is about. The first vibe I get is…. Witchy. The second is, perhaps something to do with water? And both of those would be correct.
Which brings me back to, why is it so horrible to choose a book based on its cover, when more and more titles are using the cover to advertise the content within, in such clever and sometimes subtle ways?
Don’t let others make you feel guilty for your reading choices and preferences, everyone is different and have their own ways of discovering new books to read. The way you find books, or the way they find you, shouldn’t matter, what matters is that you are reading. That you are diving in to new books and enjoying the experience!
As George R R Martin says “A reader lives a thousand lives”.
Go forth and enjoy what you love, whether it be sourced through the lingering look at a pretty cover, or an auto-buy author. Enjoy reading!