Judging A Book By Its Cover

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a bookaholic. I’ve recently bought a ton of new books: Storm Front by Jim Butcher, Zodiac by Robert Graysmith, The Maze Runner series, and a ton more. Don’t get me wrong! I’m actually pretty proud of my book addiction — at least it’s not meth. But because I’ve bought so many books lately I can tell you without a doubt that I am absolutely a bookaholic… And that I 100% judge a book by its cover.

With all these trips to bookstores, and finding books online, I see a lot of different and beautiful book covers. I’ve always had a real affinity for buying books that I know will look beautiful on my bookshelf. I like to come home and put the books with its other book friends and see them be pretty together on my wall. Is that so wrong?

For as long as I can remember, even going back when I was younger and would go to the bookstore with my family, I would always find the prettiest book on the shelf and say, “I WANT THIS” without even reading what it was about. To my parent’s credit, they had a way of weeding out the books I genuinely wanted and which ones I just thought were pretty so I never ended up getting a thousand beautiful books in one Barnes & Noble trip. Good job, Mom and Dad. Good job. But as I got older I would go to bookstores and be perusing the fiction section when I’d see the spine of a book out of the corner of my eye and be instantly drawn to it. It’s like a magnetism that I just can’t stop. So beautiful. I must have it. Lemme have it!!! It’s so hard to pass up a beautiful book! It’s what people are naturally drawn to with people: attractiveness. That’s our first instinct, isn’t it? To say, “wow that person is really attractive.” without knowing if they are attractive on the inside. It’s the same with books. The only difference for me is that with books, I’ll still buy an attractive book without it having a good story inside. I won’t stick around with people who are not good people on the inside.

That is not to say that I don’t buy books with crappier looking covers, because I do. For example, I have a few books that were repurposed for movies, so they have the movie poster as it’s cover instead of the regular alluring cover. Like The Fault In Our Stars. That cover is awesome – it’s so simple – just light blue with a couple of clouds and the title of the book. It looks great in anyone’s bookshelf. But the movie copy of the book has the two main characters lying on the grass together and not the nice cloudy cover. Who wants that? Give me the pretty artwork! But that said, if there were no pretty copies of a book, or if the book hasn’t been turned into a movie and it has a bland cover but the story itself looks awesome, I’d be more than happy to get it.

I actually have a really tough time with that when it comes to hardcover books. I love paperbacks. I think they fit better in my hands, they fit better in my bookshelf, they feel better when you’re reading it, and there’s no annoying paper dust jacket getting in the way of reading. But sometimes I have to buy hardcovers. That’s the hard truth.  Get it? No? I should just stop trying to be punny. Haha! No one can stop me! I’m a pun machine!

Anyway, I have to buy hardcovers. If there’s a new book, it doesn’t come straight out in paperback, and it usually takes a year or so for it to come out in paperback. I don’t want to wait that long! I want to read now! And obviously when it comes out in paperback there is only one possible cover this book can have… Or is there?

Nope! Because I don’t like the dust jacket, I actually read without them on. I just put them out of the way, and then when I’m done with the book I put it back on and put the book back in my shelf. But sometimes the naked hardcover is amazing. So for a few books I have in my shelf, I just got rid of the dust jacket (from my shelf – I still have the dust jacket in my night table because I can never bring myself to throw them out) and keep the pretty part of the book showing!

So, no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with judging a book by its cover. Sometimes it’s just nice to own a really beautiful book.

Until next time! Happy reading!

Rachel (AKA Bookaholic #1)

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