Thursday, 28 August 2008

judging a book by its cover

Although the old saying might suggest otherwise, I think its true that when it comes to books, the cover says a lot.

I was having a look through my book shelves last night and I came to the conclusion that the books I like to read often have a similar cover style. It seems to be all about muted colours and photos of swaying grasses and the like. This one's pretty indicative (right down to its Oprah's Book Club sticker...):

I read somewhere that there is a whole science behind book cover design and I think there's some pretty basic rules in place that allow us readers to easily distinguish what sort of book we are picking up.

Beyond the cover, there's a few things that are guaranteed to get me interested in a book. A few themes seem to link most of the books I like. Here's a list of the things that are guaranteed to make me seek out a book.

Historical themes, particularly if they involve WW2 and its aftermath (but not actual war stories - All Quiet on the Western Front style. Now before you purists kick up, I know this was set in WW1, not 2 - but I couldn't think of a WW2 example).

I also like a bit of English history

and local settings, particularly Melbourne.

So, what about you? What are the things guaranteed to get you reading a book?


Cathy said...

I think you and I have similar tastes in books! I love a bit of history. Not sure what I like in a cover though - I think I look more for the content rather than the cover. but I do like a good cover!

bluemountainsmary said...

If a book has one of the major literary prizes I will at least consider it , if not buy it. Like you though if is not a theme that grabs me I will not buy it!

CurlyPops said...

It's absolutely true...I usually pick non-fiction books with really strong typographics and pictures or the opposite extreme, books with pink and red covers and girly curly typographics...weird!

Anonymous said...

it seems we have VERY similar taste, I love books set in WW2 eg The Good German, that type of thing also I love English history and I love local history either in a historical novel or non fiction!! I also seem to read a lot of books where Australian women have gone to live in France!!!

joanne said...

what you mean apart from tv week???

cyn said...

I have just finished Midwifes...and I LOVED it...I bought it with a pile of other books from a lady moving up the road...and it was the best out of the batch.

KikiMiss said...

I can relate...although for me, it's mostly when I'm buying children's book. It's that whole design thing, the most recent purchase because of its design and structure is 'Follow The Line' - Laura Ljungkvist - what a gorgeous investment ;-)

I know you're not meant to judge a book by its cover, but in the real sense...I ALWAYS do.

h+b said...

your choices = my choices.

I also like a good biography of ugly duckling ( childhood trauma ) to swan ( famous person )

And for some reason, books on the Kennedy family - American Royalty - the fashion, the scandals, the everything, I think ...