Judging Books By Their Covers

It’s the old adage. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t make decisions based on appearances alone. Look beyond the surface. Et cetera. All tantamount to another old chestnut: It’s what’s inside that counts.

Recently, however, a couple things were brought to my attention that, if not entirely refuting the old saying, they at least had me questioning it’s literal meaning.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Well, why not? The outside of a book is colourful, often unique in size, and emblazoned with artwork. Surely there’s tons by which to judge.

What were the couple things I mentioned? The first was this Joy of Books video, produced at Type Books, here in Toronto (and which by now everyone and their dog’s fleas have seen):


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Kinda speaks for itself. And far more eloquently than this post.

The second thing that had me thinking about book covers was this post by a blogger called That Cover Girl. She did an interview with Hugh D’Andrade about his design work for the softcover of Dust City.

It’s obvious That Cover Girl and her readers care deeply about how books look. And why not? To so many people—notably the 2 million plus who’ve watched the above video—books are things of beauty.

Indeed!

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2 THOUGHTS TO " Judging Books By Their Covers "

  1. Nadia says:

    I didn’t watch the video but I only know 3 people that don’t judge books by their cover and ones me!!!!

    • Yep, truly judging by words alone is rarer than we think, but ultimately it’s the only true measure. That said, I’ll never get over the aesthetics of books—including the covers.