Let’s be real. When you’re looking for a new book in a bookshop the book cover is the first thing we see and our initial reaction usually derives from the book cover. So when I’m looking for a book, I don’t particularly like covers that feature a book model that’s dramatically looking at the camera. Example A – The Sweet Trilogy covers.
There are several reasons why I don’t like this trend. First of all, when I’m reading I like being able to create my own perception and image of the characters; that’s why I don’t fancast because I have already created an image of my own. So when I look at a cover that features the broody looking cover model my perception is immediately being influenced and I don’t get the chance to create a complete image of my own because all I see is the cover model. It’s not fun.
Second of all, having the book model does not give me a feel for the book. I like it when covers can hint at the kind of atmosphere to expect from the book. In a way it helps set the tone of the book.
However, there are some covers that feature a book model in a way that is compelling and is not overshadowing. If we look at These Broken Stars, book models are a feature however they are not the main focus of the cover. Instead you find that they blend in with the overall image. It’s very atmospheric and you get the sense that there is this star-crossed lover aspect to the story. What is even more wonderful about the cover is that the actual dress is featured in the book. It’s an image that sets a tone to the book, and the models are not overshadowing that atmospheric feel you get from looking at it.
So while I don’t let the cover impact my decision on whether I buy a book or not I will admit that it does have an effect on me and my perception of the book.
What are your bookish pet peeves? Have you ever judged a book by its cover?