Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Cover-Up

This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:
While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

I hold my hand up and admit I do often judge books by their covers. I have bought many a book because of the cover design (for instance "The Redemption of Althalus" by David and Leigh Eddings was bought because of the cat on the cover and "Zoli" by Colum McCann has lovely flowers on its cover. Also it was the cover of "Daughter of the Forest" by the wonderful Juliet Marillier that first drew me to it and now she is one of my favourite authors). What can I say, I am easily influenced. Likewise I have been put off buying books with ugly covers. If I am browsing in a book shop looking for new books, the first thing that will attract or repel me is the cover. Of course then I will read the blurb on the back, but that initial spark comes from the cover. I just finishing reading Wildwood Dancing which has a truely beautiful cover design especially done for the book. On reading it I frequently went back and studied it in more detail making out small references to passages and characters in the book. It came to mean more the more of the story I read which was a lovely experience.

As I have said time and time again I don't really do hard backs. I have a few scattered around, but I find them too cumbersome. I think my main exceptions are my Alan Lee illustrated copies of LOTR, but they are too special to me to leave the house anyway in case of damage. I am not really bothered between trade/mass market paperbacks and have taken to wrapping them in a carrier bag within my main bag to protect them from getting mashed up lately (thanks to my husband who has been doing that for years). I do tend to get illustrated copies where possible of books like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, especially if the author has done the illustrations (thanks Tolkien) or had them specially commissioned (thanks Quentin Blake for illustrating Roald Dahls novels). I love little touches in books. For example some have a symbol for each chapter that is very small at the top of each page in the corner and others have beautiful chapter headings (The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor are good for this). Basically something a little different and extra always catches my superficial eye. I don't know, it just makes me think the author cares just that little bit more.

The photo is Merlin this time sleeping in my new chair after doing a spot of reading ^_^

16 comments:

Maree said...

Love the pic of your cat _ that is one relaxed kitty!
I think my eye is caught by striking covers, but I don't judge the content, usually.

mervih said...

I'm also negatively influenced by bad covers but I don't think I've ever bought a book just because of a good cover. However, I've borrowed a few such books from the library.

Andi said...

I'm right there with you on the issue of hardbacks. I don't like 'em much for the fact that they're bulky and hard for me to carry to work.

Debi said...

While a cover would never solely make a decision for me, I couldn't agree more that they really do tend to influence my likelihood of ever picking up a book to take a look in the first place.

Amy said...

Since I get most of my book recommendations from reading what others have written(Blogs,Blurbs and Amazon reviews) I usually don't care about the cover.

Font is a big deal to me though.
Happy Thursday!

PS-Merlin looks like he loves your new chair. :)

Table Talk said...

I'm sorry to ay that a cat on the cover would be an immediate turn off for me. Now dog on the other hand.... It takes all sorts.

Jaimie said...

I have alot of hardbacks in my library but I no longer buy them as a rule. They are heavy and take up too much room.
Your kitty looks very happy today!

Jeane said...

I really like those extra touches, too. I especially enjoy it when books have beautiful or charming little header decorations for each chapter (or header quotes).

gautami tripathy said...

I like sleek covers with uncluttered content. And I prefer readable fonts. As long as I don't need a lens!

Booking through cover

Nymeth said...

A good cover will certainly get my attention, and it may cause me to pick up a book even though I have never heard of it or of the author. Cats on the cover are always a plus, of course :P

Melody said...

Bad covers definitely turn me off! But then, I'll still pick it up later just to read the blurb. It'd be a real pity if I find the story is good... but I'm more concerned about the fonts.

Kim L said...

Good answers. I like books with a little bit of illustration in them. I think it definitely enhances the reading experience!

Literary Feline said...

Cats have such an easy life . . .

Covers do play a part in whether I consider a book for reading too. It's not the final deciding factor, but it can make a difference in whether I even bother to look at a book more closely.

pussreboots said...

I also often judge books by their covers. Happy BTT.

Chris said...

From looking at your blog, I figured you to be a very visual person so your answer doesn't surprise me. :)

jehara said...

i am the same way.