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Word Games > Judge a reader by a book's cover?

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message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments I belong to a fan group for a writer that has recently chosen some racier covers for his books. The gist of the debate is whether or not the racier covers are appropriate as they sometimes reveal things about the reader that the reader would prefer remain private.

In this particular case the covers sort of reveal that books are young adult gay fiction. It has been pointed out that the covers can sort of "out" questioning teens when they're seen by others in school the library or even on public transit.

It occured to me that while this is the very essence of judging a book by its cover, or in this case the reader. Gay fiction isn't the only type of book that has this problem.

For Example: Holy Bible - King James Version by Anonymous When seeing that someone is reading this book in public I'll admit that I do make certain assumptions about them.

2nd example: Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer I know that awide variety of people read this book but when I see someone reading it in public, I do make certain assumptions.

How about the rest of you? Are there certain books that cause you to judge the reader by the cover?

message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18485 comments Mod
Covers are huge especially in the YA market. A great, high-interest book will be ignored if its cover stinks. And a so-so book, with a cool cover, will be grabbed right away.

I think the same holds true for adult books.

Do we judge by covers? And titles, I'd say! If I see someone reading literary fiction in public, a whole raft of assumptions float in. Ditto if I see someone reading bestseller fiction.

message 3: by Ruth (last edited Dec 12, 2010 08:48AM) (new)

Ruth | 16011 comments Mod
What NE said. And if I see a mass market paperback format, I make assumptions about that reader.

message 4: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Likewise....especially if it is of the Mills and Boon type.

message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 16011 comments Mod
Mills and Boon????

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10401 comments Harlequin I think???? Romance bodice rippers maybe?????

message 7: by Jana (new)

Jana What was said above. I have to add that I buy or don't buy books because of the cover. Call me a snob.

message 8: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 16011 comments Mod
A good-looking cover will make me pick up a book at the store or library. But it's got to pass a few more tests before I actually decide to read it.

message 9: by Carol (last edited Dec 12, 2010 04:28PM) (new)

Carol | 10401 comments The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin I thought this was a lovely cover, it hides a dramatic psychological theme. You don't really think it would.The Art of Devotion

I don't judge someone by the cover of a book they are reading unless I have read it also. Then I can.

message 10: by Ken (last edited Dec 12, 2010 04:57PM) (new)

Ken | 18485 comments Mod
The Redbreast (Harry Hole book 3) by Jo Nesbø . This is my next book once I finish The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson . Both have covers I would be proud to carry about (if I went places with my books, which I don't).

In fact, the entire nyrb classics series has fantastic covers.

Ooh. I just noticed, while looking up that link, that you can buy someone (or better yet, yourself) the gift of one nyrb classic a month. Is anyone still wondering what to get me for Christmas?

message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol | 10401 comments Of course a favorite cover of mine is War and Peace (Vintage Classics) by Leo Tolstoy

message 12: by Ken (new)

Ken | 18485 comments Mod
See, that cover bothers me. The robin's egg blue is too wussy for a muscular book like War and Peace. Pevear and Volokhonsky could use the nyrb treatment!

message 13: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 1259 comments That could be a misleading cover, Kitty, somebody might think it was about prayer or meditation! I wouldn't generally judge a person on the basis of one book, but I do like the ability to see their whole list on Goodreads, even though I'm aware that many people, like myself, have not finished listing all their books. If I see a lot of gay romance on someone's list I am inclined to think...possibly gay...but that doesn't mean I like them any more or less, Stephen. But I can certainly see it could be a problem for high school students since there are many prejudiced people around and teenage years are often difficult anyway, let alone if you have to deal with persecution.

message 14: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 16011 comments Mod
Newengland wrote: "See, that cover bothers me. The robin's egg blue is too wussy for a muscular book like War and Peace. Pevear and Volokhonsky could use the nyrb treatment!"

I don't like this one very much, either. Looks a little chintzy for such a book.

message 15: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
A Compromised Lady (Mills and Boon Historical, #1078) (Harlequin Historical Series, #864) by Elizabeth Rolls

Mills and Boon!

message 16: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 16011 comments Mod

message 17: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (havan) | 1023 comments Well I will admit to being somewhat reluctant to openly read certain books on the NYC subway. One doesn't want to give too much away amid the crazies that ride the public transit.

message 18: by Debbie, sardonic princess of cheerfulness (new)

Debbie (sardonicprincessofcheerfulness) | 6387 comments Mod
Blech is right Ruth.....but some women thrive on it....marital escapism?

message 19: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey | 126 comments I recall a conversation I had with my last literature professor. We had just finished PERFUME by Patrick Susskind. Although it was a highly entertaining novel, I thought it to be a piece of literary trash and told the teacher as much. His reply was that I was judging the book by its paperback cover. How untrue. I have seen the movie and although I would see it again in the future, it still is a piece of crap.

Doritos are great but I wouldn`t want my diet to consist solely of them.

message 20: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey | 126 comments Yeah, he was consumed by strangers in the city thoroughfare. How Christlike! I thought the author`s moral stance disgusting.

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