General Question

willbrawn's avatar

Does the cover art of a book determine if you will pick it up and read it?

Asked by willbrawn (6609points) October 9th, 2008 from iPhone

I just realized that if I do not like the cover art of a book I will not pick it up. And in turn not read it. Anyone else do that?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If I recognize the author’s name, I don’t pay attention to the cover art.

GAMBIT's avatar

I do a lot of reading on the subway and at home so if a cover looks too offensive to my neighbors or my children I may not buy the book.

Mulot's avatar

I choose books by their cover, I know that’s stupid but when they all are in a shelves it’s what catches my eye first.

Anyway if the plot do not please me, I don’t buy it, of course.

loser's avatar

Yeah, I’m like that too.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

The cover, title and spine (because the spine is normally what I see first on the shelf) are what catch my eye. If the book is appealing, I then read the flap or the first page to make my final decision.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Gambit: I do a lot of reading on the bus and if my book doesn’t look interesting enough, I have a few covers I can slip on it to make it more exciting.

(I have another friend who does this on the train with the Satanic Bible so as to get a seat alone in her extremely conservative, but not very evangelical area.)

GAMBIT's avatar

@EmpressPixie, thanks EP that is good advice.

susanc's avatar

There are categories of covers. Some are Harlequin Romance type covers and I skip those without having to think. Small and glossy, with stormy backgrounds and bosoms. Then there are pastoral landscape covers, usually by
religious novelists. I skip those. Then there are skary horror/mystery books with covers
that have a cutout flap in front so you can see the corpse on the second glossy cover right behind it. Skip.
There’s a category called “trade paperbacks”, often taller and thinner than the above, and the cover, even if paperback, is matte instead of lipstickishly glossy. I think these are marketed for people with “taste”, hence calmer presentation.
I look at these. What a patsy.
My fave indy bookstore carries used-and-new and has tables of juicy political-analysis books. I have a lot of trouble not buying those because I want to read them right away. But the store never accept them as trade-ins in for credit – the information becomes superseded too quickly, given the nature of news in our culture. I read pieces of them standing up for an hour or so, shifting from foot to foot.

tabbycat's avatar

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. I am a big appreciator of good book design, and good artistry does influence me. On the other hand, I love words, too. If I know something is likely to be a good read, I am drawn to it, no matter how it’s packaged.

hollywoodduck's avatar

Yes, and I am also influenced by the title too.

Bri_L's avatar

It definitely does when I am picking out books to read to my kids. I can’t stand bad illustration.

Zaku's avatar

Appearance can influence (especially, whether I’ll read it in public), but does not determine, whether I read a book (and maybe even how much I enjoy the reading it, a bit). I actually prefer hardbacks with no representational cover art. And for some books, I find myself appreciative of, or irritated by, the art.

fireside's avatar

Did anyone say; “Don’t judge a book by its cover” yet?

Bri_L's avatar

dontjudgeabookbyi…...... DAMN!

You beat me to it. :-)

BronxLens's avatar

I chose these ones becasue of the cover (skimmed a few pages or read the back cover and I was hooked), but the cover gets the honors (great, great readings by the way, even if Sector 7 has no words in it ;)

Einstein’s Dream
Still Life with Woodpecker
Flotsam (a Caldecott Medal Book)
Sector 7 (another Caldecott Medal Book, by the same author!)

writerini's avatar

David Wiesner is amazing. Props to him.

PIXEL's avatar

Actually I like things that are enjoyable and look nice. If you think of it that’s the reason I have Apple products. If the cover is nice ill take a look at it. If the story is really good but the cover is hideous I would usually get a book cover and put it on. Yes I am very picky.

eri231's avatar

well, sometimes if the cover looks good then the book is good. but some of the best books I’ve read don’t have interesting covers. I think if you like the title, then read the description, and if you like that, go for it! Also, it’s fun to look at a book that has an ugly cover every once and a while!

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