Judging a Book by Its Cover

I read.  I kind of read a lot.  There’s a lot out there to read.  My nook*?  Makes it even easier to ingest a billion and one books.  I’m not any faster of a reader, but it’s a lot easier to pick up a little reading here and a little reading there if I can just throw 100+ books in my purse all at once.

But there are a gazillion more books out there than I’ll ever be able to read.  So out of all the books in the world, how does one choose what to read?

For me, it’s word of mouth probably more than anything.  If someone tells me they read a really great book, I’ll probably try reading said book.  People tell me about the books they’re reading every so often, because book lovers like to talk about said books, but it’s not like I have recommendations beating down my door.

From there, I typically take those authors and read everything by them I can get my hands on.  I have read all but two books ever published by Tom Robbins (though finding him was a fluke, read on).  I am making a considerable dent in the works of Terry Pratchett, but that man is such a prolific writer, I don’t know that I can read them as fast as he can write them.  You’ll find a lot of Nick Hornby, Douglas Adams, and Bill Bryson in my collection (side note, it is an amazing distinction for Mr. Bryson to grace this list, because he brings as much life to his nonfiction as all the previously listed fiction authors, and I find that’s hard for people to do).

But as much as I love these writers (and others whom I’ve not mentioned), I can’t read the same thing back to back to back.  And eventually (except in the seeming case of Mr. Pratchett) they’re going to run out of books for me to read.  So I need one more tack.

And, yes, it’s judging books by their covers.  Which I’m pretty sure everyone who reads does.  You can’t help it.  The cover is like an advertisement.  You have one second to grab my attention or I’m long gone.  Like anything else we consume, if you don’t already have the clout of coming highly recommended or a proven winner, you really need to sparkle.  But the problem lies in the fact that what catches my eye, may not catch someone else’s.  In fact, it’s pretty much a given that it won’t catch everyone’s.  The trick for publishers is to find that fine line where the cover catches the eye and gives a general vibe as to what the story is about.  And it’s that second part that’s really more important.

For instance, I’ll show you two covers, one that would attract me and one that wouldn’t.  To keep it fair, I’m going to use covers from an author I already know I like, so I’m literally only judging the covers.

In this corner, we have The Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot:



I can tell by the fact that the cover is colorful and cheeky that it’s going to be a lively and funny book.  It’s fluffy, too, so it’s obviously going to be chick lit, but not like a bodice ripper or anything.

In the other corner, we have Every Boy’s Got One:



This corner looks like bubble baths and Lifetime movies.  And while I don’t hate either of those two things, they don’t scream good reading.  To me it looks like a silly little lady story.  If it weren’t Meg Cabot, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.  But it is, so I’ll probably read it eventually.

The spine is even more important, but much harder for me to pin point, so we won’t even go into that, but if a cover is graphic enough for me to pick it up or click on its link, it now has maybe 30 seconds to wow me.  That back cover better have a damn description of the book.  I don’t want to read an excerpt from your last book.  I don’t want to know what so-and-so said about your books (Unless you’re Jenny Lawson; the quotes on the back of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened** are freaking hilarious).  Give me a plot summary and make it juicy.

Now, there is an exception to this.  It was brought to my attention that some books have summaries on the copyright page.  But still, those summaries are usually not terribly flashy and also usually in much smaller print.  Plus you have to open the book and find the page, and ain’t nobody got time for that.  That eats into the 30 seconds I could be using to read the summary.  Just sayin’.

So… Read any good books lately?

*I’m not being paid to endorse nook, I just happen to really like it.

**Linking to Amazon just so you know I’m not playing favorites 😀


Now I just need to use it….

For the first time in at least a decade, I have a library card.  I lost mine, found mine, and lost it again, so I figured since I had moved I would just pretend I was a new person.  I can’t get in too much trouble, right?


I put it off for so long because I am terrible with books.  For starters, I like to keep books.  I may never read them again, but it’s comforting to know I can if I want to.  Secondly, I take forever to read books.  It’s not uncommon for me to have multiple books going at once, and it often takes me months to read them.  This is also why I don’t care for borrowing books from friends.  Third, I’m hard on books.  I like to dog-ear.  I often spill (usually water, but sometimes soda).  I drop them in bathtubs (but I figure since my new bathtub sucks and I haven’t taken a bath since February, this shouldn’t be an issue).  This is also why I don’t like to borrow from friends, ha.

But I figure, there’s more to libraries than books.  There’s museum passes, and CDs, and DVDs.  There’s audiobooks, probably, which I find hard to keep up with because I always see shiny things and forget to listen, but the option is there.

So.. yay me.  It’s been a long time coming (as Rocketdog can attest).

Donde Esta El Card Reader

I’d post pictures of various portions of my new home, but I seem to have misplaced my card reader.  I’m seriously against using the dock for my camera, even though I know exactly where it is…  My pictures just aren’t important enough to warrant angering myself with something oh so petty.

What I’ve been busy with, thereby keeping me from blogging about anything:

  • Cleaning 5o years worth of hair out of the bathtub drain
  • Building shelves and craft desks
  • Watching obscene amount of House–So THAT’S how he pissed off that cop…
  • Teaching The Hippy how to make stove-top popcorn.  Poor dear thought it could only come from a microwave.
  • Watching Bob Ross and other PBS shows I wouldn’t otherwise watch because we’ll never ever have cable again.
  • Sneaking back under the guise of “getting more stuff,” but really snuggling the kitties because it will also be a long time before I have a cat.
  • Washing obscene amounts of dishes and praying I don’t get another finger infection.  I can’t find my gloves, and I’m too stubborn to go to the store (see above regarding camera dock).
  • Reading Marley and Me and trying not to get caught crying.
  • Sewing little bits and bits because my sewing stuff is still in a complete disarray.
  • Getting cut off by various odd cars on the highways between new and old homes and new home and work: state patrol–no lights on, school bus, semi, and two limos on two consecutive days in the exact same spot on the highway.

What I really, really need is a night with my buddies, though.  We’ve all been too busy.  I will shake my fist until someone can figure out a way to get us all together.