Thursday, March 29, 2007

Book Covers - To judge, or you know . . .not?

Yes, I adore the new Harry Potter cover. (I've been wondering what the color scheme would be for far too long now. I love orange.) And yes, I do think it appears that Harry and Voldemort are working together. *gasp* Though it has since occurred to me that perhaps they are applying opposite forces to whatever is looming over them.

It seems a lot of people are posting about Harry. Fuse#8 has an opinion. As do all the people over at the Leaky Lounge. But, I'm not going to say anymore about Harry Potter, at least not today.

In her interview with Margo Rabb Liz B. over at A Chair A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy brought up the issue of book covers. Something I've been thinking about recently, thanks to Eggs by Jerry Spinelli. Now, I just had an advance copy, so the cover could change. It is a close up picture of an open half-dozen carton of eggs. Above the eggs, on a sky background is the author's name. Nowhere on the cover (except the spine) is the name spelled out. The whole thing feels very YA to me, and though the characters are tweens the reading felt much more J.
So where is the disconnect in how books are marketed?

Six or seven years ago, maybe more, I remember walking in to a bookstore and noticing a change in cover art. A vast number of the books suddenly had white minimalist covers with a photograph of a single person or object. It seemed such a shock at the time to see photos on book jackets, but I honestly can't remember what was used before. I found this new style vastly appealing and wanted to pick up all the books.

So, yes, I do judge by the cover, but not always. I recently read and enjoyed a book that I thought had a ridiculous cover, Girl's Guide to Witchcraft, and would likely not have picked it up based on cover alone. I have lots of beloved book friends that outwardly look ghastly (e.g. Roots, Jane Eyre). I'm curious where the balance lies in how people make their reading choices.


Nicki said...

You know, I didn't pick up Harry Potter because of all the hype. I started reading as the third book was released in the US... of course, I had heard of it, vaguely. But I picked it up because of the cover... and not just because it was "pretty" but because of how it felt (I'm refering to the first book paperback). I don't just judge based on how it looks but also the book's texture.

2ndGenLibrarian said...

Too true.
I have a friend who refuses to read anything with a certain type of cover because it feels funny to her.