Monday, June 18, 2012

Please Judge A Book By Its Cover

Admittedly, there used to be quite a bit less information on a book's cover.

"Don't judge a movie by it's trailer," maybe that would be more apt. If you here a dumb joke in a trailer, you know you've already hear all the better jokes before it. That movie's probably not worth seeing.

But a book's cover? That's a pretty solid indication of crapitude, right there.

First, we put a big old title and author on it, and the rest is designed to entice you into reading it. Doesn't entice you? Book's graphic designer wasn't very good. Meaning the publisher didn't think much of it to assign someone better, meaning I–not being one to profit from this tome–probably won't think much of it either.

"But hold on," you say! "Don't judge a book by its cover!"

Well, alright. Conveniently, there's a description of the book right inside the jacket or smack-dab in the middle on the back. There's even a write-up on the author, to convince me that they're excellent at being the guy who knows the thing, for which I would be reading his book over any other.

"But you're still judging the book by its cover!"

Stop saying that. The publishers have sent advance copies of the book to famous, well-respected authors and other opinionated individuals, to print how they feel about this new work all over the cover. These people are literally judging the book, and that judgement is then printed on high-gloss laminate. You can even judge that by who said what. If one person compares it to Stephen King, and Stephen King doesn't ay anything, you can be damned sure Stephen King didn't bother to read it when they absolutely asked him.

Maybe this was all well and good when books all came leather-bound and without so much as an embossed title across their faces or spines, but since about 1970 there has been no better source by which to judge a book than by its cover.

Except Wikipedia. That shit is amazing.

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