Sometimes ugly books end up being the best reads
Talk about judging a book by its cover… I had a classic experience!
So there's this book on my mom's bookshelf. It sits there day in and day out, but it is the ugliest book I have ever seen. And to top it all, it doesn't even have a cover. I should probably call this judging a book by its pages because these pages are so dreadful, they're even starting to go yellow! Not my scene at all.
I like pretty covers and clean pages.
One day I ask my mom what the deal is with this book 'cause frankly, all I want to do is toss it… far away! She tells me it is one of the best books she's ever read. No way, I tell her - the book doesn't even look readable.
I leave the book on its place and a few months later, having run out of books to read, I'm back. So very reluctantly (and I mean very!), I take the book and decide that if after reading the first chapter, there is no spark of interest, I am so trashing this book.
My oh my, I was hooked from the first page! I now have a new respect for this little book that keeps its place on my mom's bookshelf. Just telling you about this book gives it a bit of a Cinderella feel, doesn't it?
It's not just about the cover
I have to admit that I judge a book by its cover all the time!
I can't help myself. I even take it further and scan the summary on the flap or back cover of the book, then the first few words of the first chapter and lastly a peek in the middle of the book.
I loathe novels that start with location and their geographical descriptions ("The sky was grey as mist began to gather in a small town located on the edge of a long forgotten city. The eastern part of the town is generously dotted with lush vegetation and..."). Ugh! And it's a page full!
How boring! A quick example is John van de Ruit. I bought Spud: the madness continues about 2 years ago and I still haven't finished reading it.
I totally melt into something like this ("For as long as she could remember, Gerry was known as the typical girl who would never exchange a well paying job for motherhood. Those days were a thing of the past when she soon found herself raising three beautiful kids. Much to everyone's surprise, she was actually enjoying it, except for one thing."...).
An example of this is Laura Weisbeger. Her style is my style.
Books are like food
I confess! Books are like food, if it looks "delicious" you automatically want to read it.
If you have the choice between "salmon grilled to perfection in farm butter, crispy on the outside, melting soft on the inside with roasted veggies" or "dead with with veggies" what would you go for?
It's about the cover and the title
I must admit I also judge a book by its cover. If the cover (and title) looks interesting I will pick it up and read the cover page.
If I am still interested and I don’t know the writer I will usually read a paragraph or two to see if I like the writing style.
Only then will I decide if the book is worth my time (and money). The only time I will pick-up a boring cover is if I like the writer, or somebody has recommended the book.
Pretty covers + interesting blurb = a definite read
I have to admit that 99.99% of the time I do judge a book by its cover and even worse I often read only the first 2 lines of blurb on the back and make a decision based on the 2 lines of blurb and a pretty cover.
Most of the time I have been very lucky and have not been too disappointed but recently I bought a book at my favourite charity's monthly book sale based on what looked like a quirky cover and good spiel on the back. MY WORD, what drivel.
I put it straight into the recycling bin here at work. I cannot believe that any publisher in their right mind would even consider printing such trash.
How do you decide whether or not a book is worth reading? And how important is an attractive book cover? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.