5 Reasons Why I Don’t Judge Books by Their Covers

Posted May 1, 2017 by Geybie's Book Blog in Discussions / 78 Comments

The Reasons Why I dont Judge Books by Their Covers1

First of all, let me tell you that I LOVE book covers. This piece of writing does not mean to say that I don’t like book covers. Not at all. I enjoy looking at them and even lusting after gorgeous male models and hot couples on covers MANY TIMES. It is not just about the male models but the combination of colors in a cover that pleases my eyes, especially if the cover really represents the genre and theme of the book. You might instantly know what you are going to get out of a book only by looking at its cover and it is a great experience.

Why don’t I judge books by their covers?

1. Most of my favorite books in the past did not have great covers.

I remember the first time I fell in love with romance books after discovering Twilight series and Fifty Shades of Grey series. I fell head over heels in love with the stories, and most of them do not even have fancy covers like the majority of books nowadays. They have either very simple covers or the ugly ones as most of readers (not all of readers) might say now.

I remember some readers said how ugly The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred‘s cover and it broke my heart since I loved the book so very much. I did remember how much I loved Kristen Ashley old gorgeous series, my ultimate favorite Beautiful Disaster series by Jamie McGuire, and many indie books back then even though the covers were quite simple. It taught me early on to not judge books by their covers. Whoever says this sentence, he or she is definitely right: Content is a King.

2. Most of the books that have gorgeous covers do not represent their contents.

I did have some experiences when I bought books based solely on their gorgeous covers and found myself disappointed with their contents. I didn’t like the story and the writing and ended up not enjoying the whole reading experience. This happened to me when I used to buy physical books. I was a collector of gorgeous looking books. However, after the series of disappointments, I decided to stop buying and judging books based on their covers.

3. Most of the covers almost look the same.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think most of the books look almost the same nowadays. Don’t get me wrong; they look gorgeous and I love them as I said before. However, they kind of have similar patterns such as half naked gorgeous male models showing their bodies, body plus face, only face, a couple looking hot and steamy, and so on. These patterns, as gorgeous as they are, look almost the same in my eyes. If you ask me a cover of the book that is familiar to me, I might have to think harder since lots of the books I read recently have similar covers.

I am not saying that there are not unique covers now. There actually are a lot out there, but it is a rare thing for me unfortunately.

4. I choose ebooks over physical books.

I am a huge fan of ebooks kindle and cannot live without my iPad. I love having all of my books with me ALL THE TIME. I carry them whenever I go, even when I go to the bathroom, the mall, the campus, or the church and am fully aware that I cannot read at the time. My iPad and all my ebooks are always with me. It gives me a piece of mind having them near me. I think it affects how I see book covers. I don’t care about book covers. The content is what excites me when it comes to ebooks.

5. The book covers never affect how I imagine the characters.

When I read a book, I completely forget about its cover, even though it is beautiful. The characters in my mind, based on their characteristics presented in the story, are usually different than the models on the cover. Have you ever thought the same?

So, these are the reasons why I don’t judge books by their covers. Do you judge books by their covers? How do you see book covers? 😁

I’m linking up to The Broke & The Bookish (Top Ten Tuesday)

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78 responses to “5 Reasons Why I Don’t Judge Books by Their Covers

  1. I am guilty of judging a book by its cover but I never say it out loud. I don’t like spoiling it for others.. I do agree some of the books with boring covers have turned out to be very good n interesting.

  2. It’s the same for me, though I don’t mind that occasional most awesome cover. I read this YA dystopian novel a while back. Beats Hunger Games many times over. It’s indie it’s cover, other than being bland, has ninety five percent grey in it lol.

    • Yeah, I can imagine it. Most indie covers back then was very different than the ones now. I remember read a fantastic indie series that each cover is almost the same. Only the colors that make them different. All od them just plain one color with a title above. Haha. But my god how amazing some of them were (content wise). 😆😁

  3. Yup on all 5 accounts. It’s hard though! As much as I hate it, I’ll still shy away from an an attractive cover even though I know better. But yeah, some great books have uuuuugly covers, while awful books have gorgeous covers.

  4. Beware Of The Reader

    Haha Geybie I wrote a kinda similar post some weeks ago about the power of cover. I agree with you but nonetheless, the cover is a selling material. Now if the content does not match the reader won’t go a second time for this author. Some books I loved most don’t have beautiful covers (take The Serpent King and Goodbie days both by Jeff Zentner) BUT I also think they look pretty on my shelves (A Thousand Boy Kisses is soooo girly AND it was an extraordinary read) LOL

    • Agree with you. The cover is a selling material. I became a victim many times back when I was a physical book collector. 😁
      OMG, I loved A Thousand Boy Kisses. It is one of my top favorites. Yep the cover is gorgeous. 👍🏻❤️

  5. I admit there are times when I allow the cover of a book to influence my buying choices. Sometimes it pays off and a times it does not. I agree with on the similarity is book covers of late. There are so many books out there with the similar covers, which also affects my choices. I am trying to ignore covers as much possible now. I still admire them, but I am learning not to make them influence my reading choices.

    • Same here. I used to buy books based on their covers. They were hit and miss. Sometimes I got lucky enough, but many time not that lucky. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. It is hard sometimes when the covers are so tempting. Haha. 😁

  6. Oh my gosh, seriously, so many book covers look a like. I feel like it’s more of thing these days, than it was when I first started reading romance more than 10 years ago. I love a good book cover, and a good cover might prompt me to read a book, but a bad cover never turns me off from reading it.

  7. I try not to judge books by their covers but it’s hard. I know, often books have hideous covers and they have wonderful stories inside but I have so many books to read I have to narrow my choices down somehow. I won’t tend to buy a book with a terrible cover unless someone recommends it to me. It’s part of the reason why I try to make an effort to tell people how good a book with a questionable cover is.

    • Yeah, I know it’s hard with all the gorgeous, inovative covers we see these days. Yes, gula covers don’t mean they have great contents and that is even harder to choose. Same with you i rely on recommendations and reviews especially if the author is new to me. 😁

  8. I love this post! Before blogging, I relied heavily on the covers. I mean, they’re the first thing that catches your attention when wandering though the bookstore. But since becoming a blogger, I look at them a bit differently. Since I get ARCs, most of them are just the title on a white/peach/pink cover and generally, when I love the books, I realize I wouldn’t have picked them up based solely on the cover.

    And I have to agree, most covers look the same. I think I’ve seen the same stock photo used on three different books published just in the last few weeks.

    • Agree with the same stock photos. I feel like I see at least three of four sometimes even more than four covers look exactly the same. As if the authors buy the covers from the same sources. The models sometimes look even the same. Just different poses. 😆

  9. I try not to judge a book by it’s cover. There have been so many that were so much better than the cover on the book, and most of the time authors don’t really have any input in their covers. However, I think that there are situations that you just can’t help it. Like, walking through the bookstore. Sadly you don’t have time to read all the blurbs, so the first think you’re going to go by (even if you don’t realize it) is the image on the cover. Same thing with perusing Amazon. I guess I do think that the cover is selling point #1, because they need to stand out in a good way so people pick up and read that blurb.

    I did chuckle, because I actually find myself gravitating more toward the simple covers than the ones with models on them, in any genre.

    • Agree with you. The cover is a number one selling point. Same with you, I find myself focus on the covers when I’m in a bookstore. I used to buy based on a little blurb in the back. Thank God, now bookstore provide a sample, the one we can open and read, and it helps a lot. But not every story does it. So, I know it is hard to not judge them by thoer covers only. I serach the book I plan to read via goodreads before hearing to bookstores nowadays. It does help. Hehe
      Ohh, you love simple covers? Wow great. 😁👍🏻

  10. I do love certain covers but I rarely pick a book based on them anymore. Especially in YA. Like you said they don’t represent the contents most of the time.

    As for romance, if it was for Amazon reminding me that I already bought the book I would buy everything 100 times because they are so similar these days lol

    For What It’s Worth

    • Haha… 😆 I did almost buy a book twice last year. It was a new author to me and I forgot that I already pre-ordered the title. Thank God, Amazon reminded me. But That’s not the case with paper books. I did buy a book twice. So I hadnt read the one I’d just bought, so when I went to a different bookstore, I accidently purchased the same book. 😩

  11. All good points. And a series I read recently – the book I loved the most is my least favorite cover. So I will be less likely to rely on that method of choosing a book in the future! But it is very had for me not to fall down the sexy ab hole. LOL

    Great idea for a topic. 🙂

    • Same here, Angie. Great abs sometimes is my weakness, too. I love looking at them. Thank goodness I have a great will power now to not buy them based on their covers. My credit account and hubby would not be very happy. 😆😁

  12. Very thoughtful post. I so agree with everything you said. I have gotten stung so many times by books with beautiful covers. I also hate the book cover trends, for instance I remember the girl in the beautiful dress trend on the cover, then we saw the floating in air fad, and the people suspened in water etc. It always changes. I also hate when the covers don’t match the characters, like the latest Ilona Andrews series. I really really try to pick up books based on content and not covers.

    • I see the book cover trends, too, Heidi. When it seems to have worked for one title, others then will use the same trend. Hehe.. and yes, covers don’t match characters seems like a trend now. I don’t know. It’s making me wonder, though, if some authors order their book covers from the same source. I know it’s hard and expensive to have a unique one.

  13. I might judge the cover if I’m just browsing – certain covers jump out more. But in general, I try not to for a lot of your reasons. I’m not going to buy a book solely because of a cute cover, and a lot of covers these days really DO have similar covers – especially with genre books like paranormal, etc. I like physical books but that’s just a preference in general and not based on the covers. I like e-books too. 🙂

    -Lauren

    • Yes, I see. It’s hard to ignore books with beautiful covers. They stand out. I do try to look at their contents before deciding now. I did’nt do it in the past and it made me in trouble. Hehehe.

  14. I will for sure pick up/click on books that have nice covers. But that doesn’t stop me from doing the same thing with the ones that aren’t gorgeous covers as well lol Good topic 🙂

    • I purchase books with beautiful covers now only when I’ve read the authors’ other books, other than that I’m more carefull now. Lots of books I ended up DNFing in the past. It was a great lesson. 😁
      Thank you!

  15. I also read almost all ebooks, but it hasn’t stopped me from wanting books with pretty covers, haha. But what I always say is that covers are important because they give readers a feel for the book. So I do judge books by their covers in the sense that it’s the cover that makes me think, “Ooh that looks like my kinda book,” or, “That looks way too romance-y for me.” Or if a book looks contemporary from the cover, for example, I won’t even look at the blurb. But if it looks like fantasy, then I will. That kinda thing. While I do sometimes get drawn in by pretty covers and might choose the book with a pretty cover over the ugly one if I’m undecided or something, I still base my decision on the blurb, and I have also read lots of great books with ugly covers. Or books that now have good covers but had awful ones in the past. So I do still try to give ugly covered books a chance!

    • Yep, covers do help us to have a feel for the books. However it is a hit and miss sometimes when the covers don’t represent the contents. I experienced it many times. Some books were even 100% different than what I first thought they were based on their covers. Haha. I become more carefull now. 😆
      Yep, same here. When I cannot decide which one to choose, I tend to choose the gorgeous ones. 😁

  16. If its an author I have read then yes, as I don’t even read the synopsis. But a new to me author, that I am going to one-click..it is the cover that draws me in. Then the synopsis seals the deal. The same for physical books at the bookstore, the cover speaks to me and then I read back cover.

    • I did the same, Kim. If it was an author I was not familiar, I tended to choose them by their covers. I still am. But most the time I rely on reviews or choose to not purchase at all if I’m not so sure. 😁

  17. carolesrandomlife

    I’m guilty of judging books by their covers. I will read books that I don’t like the cover but sometimes the cover is what makes me give a books a second look. I do most of my reading on my kindle so it isn’t a huge deal to me but I do like a pretty cover.

  18. Greg Hill

    I do find myself judging books by their covers, I try not to but it’s hopeless lol. That said, I’ll read the blurb and page through it and if it doesn’t look like my thing I’ll not get it (even if I’m tempted by the cover!). But I do agree with your points- covers so often do NOT reflect the book, or the characters, accurately. And yeah once I’m into the book I visualize the characters my own way anyway ha ha!

    Great post- love the topic!

  19. What a great spin. I confess, I *do* judge books by their covers. That’s not to say I won’t pick up a book I don’t find outwardly pretty (and what makes a good cover is subjective since we all like something different), but it definitely takes me that much longer to discover it. 🙂

    • Yes, agree with you. What makes a good cover is subjective. Some love shirtless males, some think it is disgusting, etc. 😁
      I’m kind of easy to be pleased. I tend to love all the varieties of book covers. Oh yeah, it’s hard to ignore the gorgeous ones. I experience it many times. I’ve just become more carefull when it comes to buying these days. 😁

  20. Most of the time I go for the ebook as well! But I do ‘judge’ a book by it’s cover in a way. I see a half naked man on a cover and I know “Nope, sex scenes”, and the like. As for the out of this world creepy/weird/strange/what-even-is-that covers, I like to read those books just for the heck of it!

  21. It’s so hard not to judge a book by its cover. First of all, the cover usually screams out to me, but I do agree with you-sometimes a good book isn’t blessed with a wonderful cover. I’ve had that before!

    • Yep, sometimes the covers are SO tempting that make us curious. The problem is when the covers don’t reflect the contents. It happened to me many times. I learned it the hard way. Haha 😩

  22. Great post! I do tend to judge books by their covers, but it’s so true that I could be missing out on a lot of great books that way, just because I don’t like the cover. And it is also true that I still imagine the characters my own way anyway, no matter how they look on the cover.

  23. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I definitely cover judge ALL the time.🙈 I’m actually totally okay with it, though, because the art of the book (and taking photos of them!) is a big deal for me. Howeverrrrr…I’m highly aware that an author really doesn’t have control over their cover a lot of the time (with traditional anyway) so like the cover literally is NOT a good idea to judge a book on since the author isn’t even doing it!! But I still can’t help myself!! 😂

    • Yes, we cannot blame authors over something they cannot control. Oh same here, they are tempting. 😍 There are a lot of gorgeous covers these days, it’s easy to ignore the ones that are not that good, unfortunately. 🙁😁

  24. Poinsettia

    I don’t judge books by their covers either. I’ve read some great books that had covers I really didn’t like. For me it is all about the blurb. A cover might draw me in, but the blurb is what hooks me. That being said, I can certainly appreciate a great cover. Here is my TTT.

  25. Drangonfly

    it is great that you can pass the cover effect. Cover do have an impact on me. It really deters me from picking some books unless I have already heard it’s really good!

  26. “Some love shirtless males, some think it is disgusting, etc.”

    TRUTH! 🙂

    A practice I need to “tighten” is the books I buy too. I’m much better in the sense of knowing what I like (genre/styles, authors/publishers, etc.), but I’m sure there are some books I’ve bought, and still need to read, that I’ll find disappoint.

  27. I find that I do judge covers, but that’s not to say that I won’t read a book with a terrible cover if it’s recommended to me or the synopsis sounds good. Also, you are so right about many covers not really representing the book properly – many are designed to grab your attention.

    • Yes, it was an unfortunate that many covers are designed to grab attentions these days. I do love awesome, gorgeous, beautiful covers. I just hope they represent the contents. Unfortunately, sometimes They’re not the case.

  28. Reason 4 is a big one for me. If it’s an ebook, then I don’t care what the cover is like. But I have to admit that in a bookshop, the first thing that draws me in is the cover. A fab cover will always make me pick it up and read the blurb. And I’ve often being bitten by a fab cover that didn’t deliver, but I never learn!

    • Yes, it is hard to ignore a gorgeous cover. I used to buy books mostly based on their covers. And even though I don’t buy physical books like I used to, sometimes it’s still hard to not buy books with beautiful covers when I’m in bookstores. Hehe.. 😁

  29. I admit I am a cover whore. I don’t mind the simple covers though. But if the cover is poorly done or really cheesy or has a bad photoshop job, I am totally turned off. If you can’t afford a pricey cover, thats fine, but don’t get a hack job. Keep it simple!

  30. lilyakaSuz

    Covers have the ability to make me hesitate, look twice and sometimes cringe!
    What sways me is the synopsis and of course a recommendation from a trustworthy source 🙂

  31. Ha! I’m the total opposite. I judge the heck out of a cover. I don’t read blurbs so that’s what I base my buying on outside of authors who I’ve already read so grab their books regardless. I’m a print reader, too, so I like having books I actually wanna look at. lol

  32. I *try* not to judge by covers, but instead by blub. I do feel very betrayed though when I read a book with a very cool cover, and in the end, I cannot fathom the connection between the content and the cover. 😐

    That is one reason, for my own books, that I made having final say over the cover part of my contracts. Because grrrr!

    As to ugly covers, oh ye gods the book covers of the 80s. Especially sci-fi and fantasy. I only get hardcopy of books I really love, or ARCs from my review places. Often I will then pass the ARCs on after release date, with the only stipulation being that a review is left by the new reader.

  33. Good post! Unfortunately, I have to say that romance novels have some really unfortunate covers. Some make me go like ewww.. But then, I’m one of those “no sex scenes” and “no half naked people on the covers” kind of person 😀 you might have gathered that I don’t read almost any romance from this! Really hard to avoid those things.
    But that said, some romance covers are.. Just so cheap looking, gah.
    Those covers you mentioned, oh yeah 😀 really too bad. The Beautiful Disaster one though, that looks alright!

    • Yep, it seems to me, romance authors have a difficult time to create great, unique covers. I’m tired of the trend–half naked, sexy man or couple. They seem to be anywhere. Hehe 🙈

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