Confessions of a Teenage Reader: I Judge a Book by its Cover

Elementary school teachers have it rough. They have to take in children with literally no knowledge or basis, and essentially build the foundation of the house. They have to clear away the forest and shrubs, level the ground, and start stacking cinder blocks. Not only do they have to teach school things, they also have the implied task of instilling societal values.

Someone, somewhere along the line decided to combine these two tasks to make it easier on these teachers with the famous proverb, don’t judge a book by its cover. don'tjudgebook

Well, I’ve come to tell you that my teachers obviously didn’t drill this lesson into my mind good enough. I scroll through my blog feed and wander around the library and just let all my judge-y feelings fly free. One glance at a cover, and I decide if I’ll read it or not.

Now, I’m not saying I will completely disregard a book due to its cover. But, let’s be honest.

What’s the first thing about the book you see? The cover. What’s the first thing you judge the book on? The cover. What’s the first thing that catches your eyes? The cover!

Teachers and librarians can pretend like the covers don’t matter, but we all know its not true.

And publishers know this, too! Covers practically make the book. If its a bad cover, no one will pick it up.

Some people actually get angry when the covers in a series doesn’t match. That doesn’t bother me as much, but I see where they’re coming from. Covers are more important than you’d think. They don’t affect my reviews or thoughts on the book’s story, but the initial impression is all in the cover. They say in interviews they judge you within the first two minutes, and we do the same with our books.

For me, there are a few red flags that set me off and send me in the opposite direction of a book. If the cover has any of these things, I’m reluctant to pick it up. Now, don’t get me wrong, if I’ve heard wonderful things about it, or if I want to read it, I will. But if I’m coming in without any additional information, these things send me running.

My Cover Pet Peeves:

  • Real people on covers– I cannot stand seeing real people on covers, especially when the people don’t even match the descriptions of the main characters.
  • Covers with the author’s name large than the title– Maybe the author is the book’s selling point, but I still think the title is a bit more important.
  • Covers that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot– If the book is, for example, a contemporary novel about high school, do NOT put a a field of long grass on the front no matter how artsy you’re trying to be.
  • Bad font– Please, do not use Times New Roman font on the cover, unless there’s a very good reason for it. The words on the cover should attract the reader, not repulse them.

I love cover reveals and seeing the different versions of the books, because we all judge the book by the cover. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Whenever I go into libraries or bookstores, my favorite thing is to look at the eye-catching and stunning covers.

I judge a book by its cover, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Judge a Book


2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Teenage Reader: I Judge a Book by its Cover

  1. Pingback: ARC Review: Remember Me by Romily Bernard | Stealing Pages

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame as Art | Stealing Pages

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