Book Covers; how important are they?

Book Covers; how important are they?

These incredible book covers are designed and created by the incredibly talented Owen Davey. You can check out his incredible designs here The question I am asking today, the age old question; is it bad to judge a book by it’s cover? Yes, we all know the mantra. But really, can we honestly say that the cover of a book doesn’t matter…I would say no. Of course it matters… does that make us less superior readers? Can a cover really change your entire enjoyment of a book? Or, is the cover something that we should reject entirely? Answer fellow readers, authors and book bloggers!

29 thoughts on “Book Covers; how important are they?

  1. mariavigornia says:

    Obviously, publishers think the covers matter; otherwise, how does one explain the fact that some paperback reissues of well-known books such as Jane Eyre or anything by Jane Austen, for example, are sometimes packaged to look like the stories inside are the kind of thing one might expect from Harlequin or Mills and Boon. Of course, to a certain extent they are, but . . . . Then there’s the publisher’s ability to use the cover for the “blurb.”

    It’s interesting to recall that when Penguin first started it was the colour of the covers of the books that suggested whether they were novels, detective fiction or so on.

    I sometimes think nostalgically of the days when one bought books without covers and had them bound for one’s personal library. Although all those lovely tooled leather bindings must have been things of beauty in themselves, how difficult it must have been to find a book in a hurry if everything looked the same.

    • littlebookblog says:

      hmmm I agree with most things you have put! I guess that changing the covers in which to try and gain interest from readers that might not be as interested if the book were bound without beautiful covers helps to promote the book and gain more of a profit for the publishers. If it means that the book gets more exposure I guess it’s a good thing…although I guess the implication of this is that a more attractive book is bought for it’s cover rather than it’s content which is a shame.

      I never knew that about Penguin but I love that!!

  2. booknerderie says:

    I judge books by covers, most definitely. Not always but Its the first thing we all see so it’s silly to think we don’t consider it. I’m a voracious reader, an intelligent reader. I don’t think judging a book’s cover makes you less superior. Like Maria said, if covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t bother.
    Personally, I love book cover art. I love to collect pretty books and display them. I would be sad if they didn’t exist.
    Great post!!

    • littlebookblog says:

      ^ these are pretty much my thoughts entirely; I think some will argue that it does compromise you as a reader, but for me it only draws me in more. I think that if a publisher cares enough to try and draw you in with an incredible cover why not take advantage of that! I love to collect beautiful books and every so often one appears where it’s content it just as beautiful!

      • booknerderie says:

        🙂 For those who believe it compromises you as a reader, I think they only see judging a book as a negative. I’ve read more books because of their covers than the other way around. Besides, I ALWAYS give a book the benefit of the doubt. If the cover art is stupid (let’s face it, some of them are awful), then I’ll read the summary and see if that can sway me. I usually don’t read book summaries as I like to be surprised when I read books.

      • littlebookblog says:

        I agree completely 🙂 If the great gatsby had a more inspiring cover it would have become one of my favourite books much quicker, but I guess that I came to it eventually 🙂

    • knversiga says:

      The second I walk into a book store, I scan the shelves for a spine that jumps out at me. Grab the book, look at the cover… Then read the overview of what it’s about…

      For some reason, if I don’t like the artwork on the outside of the book, it makes me feel as if the writer didn’t care enough to present something beautiful or unique enough to reflect the quality of their work.

      Now with that said, I know thats NOT true, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t always my first thought.

      As a kid, I had no clue who Anne Rice was until the cover of The Witching Hour caught my eye… (I was 11 for the record)

      If it wasn’t for that cover, I probably wouldn’t have picked up my first Anne Rice book until my 20’s.

  3. percy blacore says:

    I love a good cover. the more artistic, the better, or maybe like a movie poster. I myself, enjoy dabbling with book cover creations.

  4. Ste J says:

    Book covers as art are a truly wonderful thing, being a discerning i.e pretty snobby reader, I like to have a bit of background on what is good. There is a penchant these days for making new books look old and I do like that…different fonts within the book and laminated covers do tickle my magpie senses and make me go over all covet-y though.

  5. nikibayard says:

    ha ha, that’s hilarious and spot on,
    my thoughts? i guess they are like music album covers too, one glance and they are
    instantly recognisable… no need to read!

  6. thehashtaggeneration says:

    For me, the cover and title are what capture my attention when I’m scanning a bookshelf at a store. I guess both of those things give you a glimpse at what the book is about. A lot of times my interpretation of the cover or the book’s title is wrong, but in other cases, it leads me to something I may never have thought about reading in the first place.

    Interesting question!

  7. newbradford says:

    I absolutely judge a book by its cover. It might be amazing, but it needs to be able to grab my attention enough to make me pick it up off the shelf to begin with. I want to see a great cover, or an interesting title, something to make me look a little harder.

    • littlebookblog says:

      So do I, when review requests come in, I often will look at the covers and then choose which one to read first. Although I try to run a first come basis and do try to follow this….sometimes if a new book comes in with a stunning cover and premise I often won’t be able to help myself!

  8. gabrielleechristian says:

    I read the title and the blurbs, the first chapters, if the book is on-line. Covers attract sometimes, but the literary genre is more important for me. The cover design has the same role as advertising on TV: I buy the first time, if I don’t like the product, I don’t buy another book written by the same author.

    • littlebookblog says:

      That’s a great point! The cover is supposed to draw you in and make you interested in the overall book, but obviously a specific genre is going to change whether you pick up a book or not!

      • gabrielleechristian says:

        Indeed. For example, the romance books are all looking great, but who is going to read the same type of romance only for cover? Many of them seem to have the same story line, only with different names. I might read 2-5 love stories, but I get bored many times. And I finish by choosing a fiction. Always!

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