Thursday, April 8, 2010

Question Thursday: Do you judge books by their covers?

I know it may be foolish to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes I simply can't help myself.  While a great cover cannot guarantee that I will love a book, it can certainly encourage me to check out a book summary.  Of course, if an awesome cover happens to be coupled with an intriguing book summary, the book is headed straight for my wishlist.  

Do you find yourself drawn to lovely covers?  If so, is there a specific type of cover that you love (or hate)?  Which covers are among your favorites and which covers are you eagerly anticipating?  Some readers dislike faceless covers while others prefer faceless covers so that the image doesn't color their view of the characters before they've read the book.  Do you have any cover preferences?  My own personal taste is pretty eclectic.  I like a little bit of everything - shiny coversillustrated covers, and covers with distinctive fonts.

Here are a few upcoming novels that made the great cover + intriguing summary cut for me:
Title: Halo
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Release date: September 2010
Summary:  Nothing much happens in Tallow Beach. But when three mysterious teens enroll in the local high school, everything changes. Nobody knows the truth: that they are angels on a mission to save a world on the brink of destruction. When Beth, the youngest, falls for her classmate Xavier, she faces a frightening decision: will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize that they are not they only supernatural power in Tallow Beach. The unscrupulous Jack Thorn sees Beth as the easiest target to further his own dark ambitions. The angels and Xavier must use their powers to overcome darkness - but will Beth survive the battle?
To pre-order Halo: IndieBound | The Book Depository | Amazon
Add Halo to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf
Title: Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Release date: June 2010
Summary:  Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.  Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.
To pre-order Sisters Red: IndieBound | Powell's | The Book Depository | Amazon
Add Sisters Red to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf
Title: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release date: September 2010
Summary:  With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
To pre-order Firelight: IndieBoundThe Book Depository | Amazon
Add Firelight to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf
Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Release date: September 2010
Summary:  Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.  Normal is so overrated.
To pre-order Paranormalcy: IndieBound | The Book Depository | Amazon
Add Paranormalcy to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf

Which book covers do you love? 


kimscarecrow said...

If I see a good book cover then I'll look at it, but if the summary doesn't seem to catch me then I won't buy it.
All the books you had on this post look wonderful and the stories sound really good so I'm probably going to pick them up.
So for me a pretty cover guarantees a look, but not necessarily a buy.

Anna said...

I totally do. In fact that's how I got drawn into all this madness in the first place. There was this pretty red and white tulip on a black book......

Violet said...

kimscarecrow- Sounds like we have very similar cover philosophies. :)

Anna- I am so glad you picked up that book with the lovely tulip! It is awesome to think about the adventure that single moment of cover-love led to, and it is bizarre to think about how different the last few years would have been if you had never seen that enticing cover. Whoa. I am so happy you did see and love it. :)

Jenni Elyse said...

I really like covers too. They'll definitely determine whether I'll read a book or not. Or, at least, they'll determine whether I'll look at a book I've never heard of and then I'll see if I'll read it.

I'm like you. I have an eclectic taste in book covers. I like covers of all styles and themes. It just depends. I don't really have a favorite cover. I just like something if it catches my eye.

Candace said...

Yes, I am guilty of judging a book by it's cover. If it has a cool cover it makes me want it more. Like RIGHT NOW! And sometimes I want it just because of the cover and how pretty it would look on my shelf. Halo sure is pretty...

Violet said...

Jenni - I think our cover-judgement process is really similar. It seems to have led us both to lots of awesome books so far, so I don't feel to guilty about being drawn in by eye-catching covers! :)

Candace - I can totally relate to that RIGHT NOW feeling! A beautiful cover does sometimes make me want to see it on my shelf ASAP. Isn't Halo lovely? And I believe it is the first in a series, so I am already excited to see the next couple of covers in that series.

Anna said...

I was so sad the other day. I ordered the paperback version of the forest of hands and teeth. It didn't have a pretty cover like the hardcover version. I'm all about the pretty.

Violet said...

Anna - Such a bummer that they changed the cover for the paperback!

Mandy said...

Oh, I am so guilty of judging books by their covers! If the picture is cheesy and the font is either boring or overly fancy it turns me off. I know from experience that I could be missing up a good book so I try not to be too judgmental now. I know I do prefer a metallic cover over the plain matte, but that alone won't stop me from buying a book.

Laurie and I have had a few conversations on what we prefer on the cover as far as bare-chested shots, profile vs. full face, softened or detailed pics. Personally, I like the softened, bare-chested, profile pics on my romance/paranormal romance covers, but I have to say my favorite covers are on Jeanine Frost's Night Huntress books, which have none of these things. I also really like covers that depict symbols that are important to the characters in the books such as Acheron's lightning bolts and sun, the butterfly from the Lords of the Underworld series, the rose marquee from the Kushiel series.

From what I understand, authors do have quite a bit of input as far as their covers go so why not use it grab the attention of every person walking by. Cover design is definitely an art form that can't be overlooked.

Violet said...

Mandy - I totally agree regarding metallic covers! I love shiny covers! And featuring symbols that are important to a book (or series) definitely helps catch my attention. I am also a huge sucker for series books that look perfectly coordinated. Once I've purchased one book in a series that is well-coordinated, I feel compelled to buy the rest just to see them sitting on my shelf looking attractive together. Haha!

On romance novels, I like bare-chested profile shots and prefer actual photos to illustrated covers, but I would rather not see a face unless the cover model is very well-suited to the character they are representing.

Then again, there are definitely exceptions to every rule. I agree about the Night Huntress books, even though they don't fit my faceless rule and feature Cat instead of Bones. But I really like those covers!

Two of my very favorite YA covers are Eyes Like Stars and Perchance to Dream. I love those covers so much that I would seriously consider framing them and hanging them on my wall. Yet they are illustrated and non-metallic. So it seems that my 'rules' were made to be broken.

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