Judging a Book By Its Cover

I know the saying really is “Never judge a book by its cover”  but I’m speaking in the more literal sense. You know, actual books and their actual covers. Being a very visual person,  I notice book covers.  If there is an interesting or intriguing photo or illustration,  I stop and look.

I’m a bit of a book store addict. Shopping online only works if I know what I want. When I’m just browsing I need to be in a room surrounded by actual books. Secondhand bookstores are my favorite because you never know what treasure you might find tucked away on the shelves.  On these expeditions, I  often purchase a book just because I am am fascinated by the cover or title. What can I say, I’m reckless like that sometimes.

Here are some examples. These are only the covers. I’m not going to tell you what the books are about (if you don’t already know) because I figure if you are as intrigued by the covers as I was, you will find out for yourself!  I will, however, tell you that they all lived up to my expectations and were well worth the time.


Creepy, huh? I admit, I like weird, especially weird photographs. The entire book is filled with the same kind of visuals. This is a Young Adult book, by the way, but as far as I’m concerned a good story is a good story no matter what section of the store it’s in.


Another YA book. I found this one at a yard sale and was desperate to find out how a baseball bat and an umbrella worked together in the story line. The characters are wonderful. My 16 year old has read it several times and considers it one of her favorite books.


So so here is a book about…..a book! I’m already hooked.  I really wanted to know more about this intense society woman posing in her 1920’s finery. This was a real person and a real diary and that alone made me curious.

imageAnd finally, how could you not love the title of this book?  I am a great lover of letters and post cards. They are so much more personal than emails or texts. I think that  woman gazing off into the water and the hand written card tugged at the romantic in me.

This isn’t a foolproof method though.  I’ve bought other books because of their great covers only to be very disappointed by the story. Live and learn, you know. I still enjoy the hunt and I get really excited when I discover a hidden gem.

Let’s hear your thoughts. Have you ever judged a book by its cover? What book was it? Was it worth the risk?

19 thoughts on “Judging a Book By Its Cover

  1. I’m a first-line judger. I always open a book (physically or virtually) to read the first line. Though covers will also either engage me or turn me off.

  2. I loved this post and what great covers indeed. I’m intrigued. I adore my Kindle but now feel compelled towards an immediate trip to a used book store (since most of the new bookstores have disappeared). What a great post.

    • Thank you! We are lucky enough to have a few good book stores in the area but I’m worried they too may disappear! If I didn’t need to make a living, I’d open one myself?

  3. Book covers and titles will definitely catch my attention. Each of these books look like an interesting read (I love YA books!), but especially the Home for Peculiar Children!!

    btw – my husband will use the same strategy for trying different wines. If the label appeals to him, he’ll buy the wine.

  4. Completely agree with you! I almost bought Mrs. Peregrin’s… the other day. I love scary stuff, the more real the better. Did you really like it or just so- so? Is it based on factual events? Historic Fiction is my favorite at the moment.

    • The story is fiction but there are historic events and circumstances especially regarding WWII. Riggs uses the photos “weirdness” to invent his own stories behind the pictures. Very clever actually. I really enjoyed it. There is a sequel that was only so-so, however.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I am heavily influenced by both the cover and the title but will always read the back to see if it still engages me. With wine however… I can judge by the label alone and yes, have chosen wrongly at times!

  6. I judge books by their cover all the time, although I only buy them if they seem a great read to me as well. It does make me read books that I should otherwise have ignored, because the only thing that attracted me was the cover, and that is great because it helps exploring a lot of different genres.

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