Or am I?
You can’t judge a book by its cover. And yet I have been known to keep books because of their covers, because I love the way they look on my bookshelf (and to be honest, feel in my hands, and because I love the books or like them enough that having a lovely cover makes me keep them on my bulging shelves). I would want a copy of A Confederacy of Dunces anyway, but that particular edition (linked) is the one I cherish. It’s short and squat, and its odd shape makes me cherish it. Don’t ask, because I have no answer.
I listened to the audiobook of The Thirteenth Tale and was every bit as captivated as my sister told me I’d be, but I don’t think I would have bought it if it hadn’t had a cover that had truthfully entranced me since I first saw it. Now the hardcover resides in my collection.
This is an image a bibliophile would have trouble resisting, yes? And the book itself is beautifully crafted, so yes, I am much taken by it, and know I’ll read it, possibly even soon.
And then there is Leviathan. I am doomed to buy both audiobook and hardcover of this series, not only because I can’t miss Alan Cumming’s fabulous narration, not only because I find the books exciting, innovative and smashing good fun, not only because the covers are really, really nice, but because they even have wonderful illustrations.
I can’t choose between audio and hardcover; I must possess both.
What brings this to mind? This morning I was exploring goodreads and found the following list: Best Looking Historical Novels.
Yes, a list of historical novels ranked by covers. Talk about a guilty pleasure. I had to click. And once there, I saw a book that I’d actually bought–yes, paid money for–because of its cover. A book with a gorgeous cover, a gorgeous display in the store, that seemed interesting and–I brought it home and never read it. I emphasize that as if it is rare, but my office and house was crammed with impulse buys I never read, but was sure I would read someday, but… didn’t, before I got my Kindle.
But today, looking at that list, another book jumped out at me. Oh, the cover. Oh, the title! Oh, the temptation…
Reader, I downloaded it.
(The sample. I’ve learned my lesson about paying for books before I know I will actually read them!)
Have you bought a book because of its cover? Refused to buy a book because of its cover?