Thursday, March 27, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:
While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

I don't usually notice. I think I've only been put off a book once, because of the cover: The Denniston Rose by Jenny Pattrick. I understand that the book is very good, but I just can't get past the coal-smudged smiling urching on the cover. Sets my teeth on edge.

Font, I don't notice, really; as long as it's readable, and as long as I can hold a book up, I'm not worried about paperback vs trade paperback vs hardback.

The only other thing that puts me off is when there are review snippets on the back cover instead of a plot synopsis. THAT really fries my onions.

I forgot! I have a quirk related to this. If I'm reading a book with a cover that I feel is "staring" at me; say, a horror novel or something, when I put it down, I'll put it down face down, with the spine facing away from me. Weird and sad, but true.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm with you when it comes to the review snippits. I choose most of my books on the basis of the blurb and the first couple of paragraphs. I'm very suspicious of publicity details.

Jane said...

I recently reviewed a book for Front Street that I would not copy onto my blog because the cover art was so offensive. Too bad because the book was not bad.

trish said...

So true! I hate it when they put accolades on the back of a book rather than a plot synopsis. It's weird when they do this on a paperback because how am I supposed to figure out what the book's about and if I want to buy it??

Alix said...

Yes I agree I hate it when there is no blurb, how do you know if you want to read it or not? Also it makes me wonder why they haven't got one!

Anonymous said...

The snippets! I hate those! It tells me nothing about the book and that annoys me to no end.

There was one book that when I set it down, I always had the front down because the cover was so creepy. I just remembered that, but I can associate with your thing about covers staring at you.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the blurb thing too. The blurb is probably the most important thing for me when I'm deciding to read it or not.

Something else that annoys me is when whoever wrote the blurb obviously hasn't read the book and either misrepresents the book or gets it plain wrong.

Maree said...

What I want to know is why publishers think that's a good idea. It strikes me as being a little defensive. Like "read me! I'm really, really good! I promise!" Very untrustworthy.
A friend of mine once said that she always suspected the bit that was edited out of those snippets is "I'd like to say ..."
as in "I'd like to say .... it's a great read ..." so the review would say "... it's a great read"; if that makes sense.
I've put down more than one book out of sheer frustration because the cover didn't tell me what it was about.

joanna said...

I have the same thing about reviews on the back!! I don't know what publishers are thinking either - I won't buy it if I don't know what it's about...