Social Question

jca's avatar

Do you judge a book by it's cover?

Asked by jca (36043points) January 22nd, 2011

Do you judge a book by it’s cover? Use this as a metaphor for whatever you want: books, people, whatever. Do you make assumptions about things, people, whatever, based upon the outside? Based upon your first impression?

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21 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Everyone does. But, hopefully, for most of us our impressions are revised by getting to know the people on the inside.

coffeenut's avatar

I never judge a book by it’s cover….sometimes the cover looks great….but the book is shit…or the other way around…..

bunnygrl's avatar

People wise, never. I’ve met some real “nippy sweeties” in my life and almost all of them, after taking the time to talk to them for a while, turn out to be more sweetie and less nippy :-)
huggles xx

Dog's avatar

I do not judge a book by its cover.
I really try not to judge humans by appearance or circumstance.
But much to my own detriment I always choose my wine by the label. (Often what lies within is not as pretty as the outer art.)

tranquilsea's avatar

I note my first reaction to a person and then get to know them. It is interesting to me to see how close my first reaction was to the truth.

For books: sometimes.

filmfann's avatar

My daughter has multiple tattoos and body piercings. I don’t like it at all, but I know her heart.
When I see anyone whose appearence might shock someone, I remember there may be that jewel inside.

iamthemob's avatar

I would say I probably do it way more often than I consciously realize. But it’s a judgment that I put little stock in until I get to know the person/book/whatever.

I don’t really see how it’s avoidable.

KhiaKarma's avatar

I think it is human nature to judge and the first thing we see is often “the cover”. However, I have found in my own life that if I am able to connect with the person, first impressions no longer matter to me. I believe that humans just naturally try to categorize or make sense of what we see so to say that there was no judgement made would be false….IMHO.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t judge the whole book based on it’s cover, but the cover can definitely peak my interest and get me to explore further to see what the book is like on the inside.

harple's avatar

I do put some weight on how a book actually feels in my hands… whether that also applies to meeting people, you’d have to ask Austinlad ;-) sorry, sorry, couldn’t resist!

downtide's avatar

I try not to but first impressions make a strong impact on me. Time often reveals the truth but in the vast majority of cases, that first impression is usually right.

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

I judge a book by its back cover :D

xMissMorganx's avatar

Everyone does to some extent. I may judge by the cover but once I start to read it, my judgements are completed changed. :) Can’t always rely on your first judgement until you get to kno the person.

JLeslie's avatar

I guess I might make some assumptions about a person by their cover, but it is not a judgement, and I am very open to learn some of my assumptions are incorrect. There is a saying, you never know who you are talking to, and that is so true. I don’t assume anything about how much money someone has or how smart they are. I generally assume everyone is good and genuine, unless they prove differently.

ratboy's avatar

The article Social Animal from the Jan 17 New Yorker Magazine addresses this topic:

“A core finding of this work is that we are not primarily the products of our conscious thinking. The conscious mind gives us one way of making sense of our environment. But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways. The cognitive revolution of the past thirty years provides a different perspective on our lives, one that emphasizes the relative importance of emotion over pure reason, social connections over individual choice, moral intuition over abstract logic, perceptiveness over I.Q. It allows us to tell a different sort of success story, an inner story to go along with the conventional surface one.”

After reading it, I could not help myself from asking “is there a stigma attached to cloudberry gelato, and, if so, why?”

incendiary_dan's avatar

For actual books, I use them as a cue that I might like or dislike it.

Same for people, but mostly with style of dress and the way they carry themselves. Sometimes by what physical objects they are carrying. Plenty of people can make pretty accurate guesses about me by what I carry when, for instance, I’m holding a few books or have my messenger bag slung over my shoulder, since the bag has several fabric patches with political themes on them (cameras and the message “Orwell was right”, for instance). Ultimately, it’s matter of looking for cues that might signify something, and then testing that theory.

deni's avatar

Books, absolutely. People, not usually, but I have a very good gut and I can usually tell just from looking at someone how I will feel about them once I get to know them. I’ve met a ton of random new people recently because of my job and it is almost always accurate.

Austinlad's avatar


kevbo's avatar

I judge books by their first paragraphs. The most definitive example of this maxim working for me was when I was evaluating two books about the history of Seattle.

The first book’s first paragraph gave an introductory picture of Seattle by noting its many data points—latitude, longitude, average rainfall, population, etc., etc.

The second book’s first paragraph read:

The hills are so steep in downtown Seattle that some of the sidewalks have cleats. They used to be steeper[...] so steep that members of the Seattle Symphony, who had to climb three blocks[...] rigged a pulley to carry the instruments uphill, so that strangers in town were sometimes startled to have a cello or a tuba swoop past them on the street.

And that was all the info I needed to make a decision.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes. I try not to but it happens quite a lot. I think the secret is to not make it obvious that this is what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter what I think of something in my head providing I don’t make it clear in my actions.

Asker's avatar

First impression is intuition. It works!

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