Let’s Talk: Judging Books By Their Cover (18)

Lets Talk Lets Talk!

Let’s Talk is a meme originally hosted by I Swim For Oceans and now hosted by the team at Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.
It’s guided discussion on anything and everything to do with books and more!
Please drop by Smash Attack Reads or A Book Obsession to find other participants in Let’s Talk!

This week’s topic:

Do you judge books by their covers? Why or why not?

Yes, I do judge books based on their covers. Because they’re marketed that way.

I know everyone says ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but that was only made up by people who had shitty covers. Not even shitty covers that hid glorious insides, but shitty covers that hid shitty books, too.

You can tell a lot from a cover. You can roughly tell what genre a book is by looking at its cover. They’re created and marketed that way. Identification is the first thing that pulls a potential reader in.

All of these covers have been chosen from the top ten of their genre according to Amazon sales at the time.

YA tends to have pretty girls on the cover (or she would be pretty if you could see her face. Keeping her face hidden means the reader can identify as the main character. You can still tell she’s attractive – thin, clear skin etc.)

Fate and Fury (The Grey Wolves, #6)

Or a new trend made popular by Twilight, symbols:

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)

Classic romances have half naked people embracing

Fallen Too Far (Too Far, #1)

Erotica have objects (this is a new trend made popular by Twilight and capitalised by Fifty Shades)

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

Fantasies have weapons

A Dance With Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

Sci-fis are themed by space somethings (there is a reason my sci-fi shelf on Goodreads is called ‘spaceships and lasers pew pew pew‘)

The Great Betrayal (Star Crusades Nexus, #4)

Westerns have cowboys (and really badly photoshopped dogs?)

Saved by the Rancher (The Hunted #1)

Chic-lits tend to be brightly coloured

The Second Chance Cafe

Horror, in general, is darker-themed

The Remaining (Remaining, #1)

Humorous or light-hearted books tend to be cartoony:

Game, Set, Match

Novels by consistent best-sellers have author names much bigger than the title (this is because branding is important):

The Storyteller


I unashamedly judge books by their covers, because they are the first thing we see. I can usually tell if I’m going to be interested in the contents just by looking at the cover. I don’t go around and say that a book is shit because the cover is shit but jeez, if a book has a cover that attracts me, I’m going to be interested enough to pick it up and read the blurb.

There are two instances where covers have failed me.

Fallen (Fallen #1)

One of the worst books ever written. But also one of the best covers ever made.


Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

One of my favourite books ever, and I nearly didn’t pick it up because this cover is awful.


Then they put out these snazzy new red covers. I replaced my series.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

What about you? Do you judge books by their covers?


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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