It is a truth universally acknowledged that bookworms will always love and drool over aesthetic book covers.
No, I haven’t started reading classics. Yes, I still know that iconic line.
But is it not true??? We bookworms LOVE pretty-looking covers.
And that is completely okay.
I think that as readers we all say that we “judge books by their covers”, me included. But I personally find that judging books by their covers and liking pretty covers is something totally different, and that’s why I wanted to bring it up today.
This post is my first discussion yet (!!!), and it was inspired by this lovely post by Tiana. I’ll be using some of the points she mentioned and adding my own thoughts. She has things stated differently than me, so make sure to check out her post if you haven’t!
Now, I would put this in list form (because LIIIISTS), buuuuut I’m not creative and can’t think of that many reasons. And also, to go along with the “covers” theme that Top Ten Tuesday has*, I’ll be adding some covers that I think look GORGEOUS and PRETTY and AESTHETIC at the end of this post. Have I read most of them? No. #oops
*Am I joining the trend??? Perhaps. On Wednesday. #rebel
(Also, thank you to Analee with helping me out on changing font size! You’ll see me playing around with it in this post. Because it’s fun.)
Why do bookworms like pretty-looking covers???
Well, why wouldn’t we? We humans are attracted to pretty things—ask anyone.
We are very visual, and book covers are just made to draw your attention. Why else would they be there? To protect the book from ripping? To run your fingers over and smell? OBVIOUSLY FOR AESTHETICS.
It is a true fact that bookworms are humans (if not superhumans), therefore, we are attracted to pretty things. Is that something to be ashamed of? NO. It’s just who we are.
In Tiana’s post, she says:
Humans are creatures captivated by beautiful things.
And it’s true! If the cover is beautiful, we are just naturally drawn to them. Our eyes instantly snap to it, we squeal, then run over to pick it up. Covers are like the book industry’s way of propaganda. HONESTLY.
What about judging books by their covers?
Judging books by their covers (without having read them) vs. liking covers of books is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Judging books by their covers = saying this book is good or bad based on their cover.
Liking covers = saying that this book has a nice cover.
ARE YOU MIND-BLOWN?
In reality, we shouldn’t be in shock over this. If you judge books by their covers, whatever! I’m not judging you, even though I don’t think that’s necessarily a “right” thing to do. But if you LIKE covers but not necessarily the book, I’m with you, I understand you, let’s ride off into the evening and eat mangoes.
Basically, just because we say OOH PRETTY COVER PRETTY COVER SUCH A GREEEEEEAT COVER doesn’t mean that we think the book is great. We are simply commenting on the book’s aesthetics, because, well, aesthetics.
Just because we say that we will marry this book because of its cover doesn’t mean that we will marry this book because of its content! No! Again! The cover! We’re talking about the cover! LOOK AT THE COVER!
And finally (I’ll be serious this time), just because we like the cover doesn’t mean we like the book.
We’re not saying that since the cover is pretty and nice-looking, the book will be great.
We’re not saying that since the cover is ugly and unappealing, the book will suck and we will throw it into the void.
We are simply saying that we like the cover. We may or may not like the book, but that has NOTHING to do with our appreciation of the cover.
Liking pretty covers is not the same as the judging books by their covers. Liking pretty covers is liking pretty covers, and judging books by their covers is saying we think this book is good/bad because of their good/bad cover.
The great combinations of covers + content
And sometimes, the cover is great and so is the book! That just works out perfectly and makes us bookworms extremely happy.
But other times, the content is uglyyyyyyy, but the cover is great. Not the best, but we can still use it for pretty pics and prop it up on our bookshelves to admire and drool over. We’ll just forget the horribleness of its insides whoops.
And then other times, the COVER is ugly, and the content is wonderful. This is where we get conflicted because what do we do with it? Do we just hide it under piles of other books? Do we wrap it in some pretty gift paper and pretend it has a beautiful cover???
And FINALLY, we have the ugly cover + book. Then we can just use it to hit people and sit on.
The important takeaway from this section (???) is that covers have nothing to do with content, for the cover-loving aesthetic bookworm. Versus in judging books by covers, covers define how the content will be.
So is it okay to like pretty covers?
OH YES. YES YES YES 100% YES.
Like I said, we are pretty much hardwired to like pretty things. Covers are made to catch our eye, to scream “HEY HEY LOOK AT ME I’M BEAUTIFUL”. So it is c o m p l e t e l y okay to like covers! That’s basically telling the cover designer that they did their job.
Plus how can you NOT like pretty covers.
However, it comes to the question of: Is it okay to judge books by their covers?
In my opinion, you really can’t judge things based on their appearance. You can APPRECIATE the appearance, of course, or you can like it for its aesthetics, but you can’t say that because the book LOOKS beautiful, the book IS beautiful. Nor can you say that because the book LOOKS ugly, the book IS ugly.
Of course, that’s just my opinion! It applies to real life as well—just because someone has a different skin color than you doesn’t mean they are inferior/commit crimes/whatever ridiculous stereotypes have appeared in the world. *frowny face times infinity*
Saying that we “judge books by covers”
We bookworms do this A LOT. I think it’s just easier to say than “I like book covers but I don’t necessarily like the book”. Like I’ve said a MILLION times before, I personally think that judging is different than liking. But you may not! And that’s okay! Because we’re different and have different opinions and different is FIIIIIIIIINE.
Even I say that I judge books by covers. I said it in my comment to Tiana’s post! But now, after writing this lovely discussion, I realize that I in fact do NOT judge books by covers—I simply like pretty covers and say I like pretty covers.
However, for me, it’s a step further than just “liking” pretty covers. Because that cover is pretty, I want to read the book. But is that judging? NO.
The pretty cover makes me want to read the book. I am not judging the book and saying that THE BOOK WILL BE GREAT BECAUSE THE COVER IS. Its aesthetics just drew my eye and I want to know what it’s about.
The ugly cover will discourage me from reading the book. I’m not judging the book and saying that THE BOOK WILL BE BAD BECAUSE THE COVER IS. Its unappealingness (it’s a word shh) makes me feel like “agh I don’t want to read this book because it just looks so uglyyyyy”.
BUT I’M NOT JUDGING IT. I don’t think the book will be bad because the cover is bad! (And haha I’m just repeating that sentence over and over again #oops.)
An example of me NOT judging a book by its cover (despite its ugly cover)
Yesterday, I was browsing books in my school library. I remember the wonderful Jackie talking about the Shatter Me trilogy, so I found the book. I took it out of the shelf, and my first thought was, WOWOWOW that cover is ugly. What about the pretty cover???
This was the cover I saw:
This was the cover I WANTED:
Isn’t the second cover so much appealing???
But I read the blurb, read the first few pages, and thought, WHOA THIS IS AWESOME. (Even though it’s in first person. *cries*) But the cover really really discouraged me from reading it.
(And the other books in the series were the pretty ones. Like #wut???)
Am I saying that that is the right thing to do? NO. It’s probably not very good of bookworm me at all. I’m just giving an example of how the cover made me not want to read it instantly. I was impressed by the blurb and the first few pages—I think that Shatter Me will be a good read (if not great), by what I read. I DID NOT judge the book by the cover.
The takeaway from this horribly long discussion
Judging books by their covers and liking covers is completely different. IN MY OPINION.
Covers have nothing to do with content, even if we say “OMG THAT COVER’S SO PRETTY.” IN MY OPINION.
Liking book covers for their prettiness is completely okay. IN MY OPINION.
You can say you judge books by their covers, but most of the time, you really aren’t. IN MY OPINION.
It’s not necessarily right or wrong to be discouraged from reading books with “ugly”* covers. IN MY OPINION.
Basically, you need to know that everything in this post is based on my opinion.
*Whether we agree on if it’s ugly or not is a whole other matter.
Pretty covers to feast your eyeballs on
I couldn’t leave this out of the post, could I???
Here are some aesthetic covers that I LOVE. Note that there are like a few hundred more but I obviously forgot.
the most important part of a discussion! first of all, how’d you think i did on my first discussion ever??? (i repeated a whole bunch of things agh.) what are your thoughts on judging books vs. liking books? are you an aesthetic-cover-devouring bookworm too? do you agree with my points? TALK WITH ME! i really would like to hear your thoughts.