The Benefit of Judging a Book by its Cover

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Wrapping up our reading of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I wanted to expound on the point I made in the group post earlier in the month. That cover! As mentioned in that post, Miss Peregrine’s was first pitched as a picture book to be filled with the wonderful photos found throughout the narrative. Also mentioned in that post was how so many readers commented on how drawn in they were by the photos. I have to admit, they got me too.

This is one of those books that does a remarkable job of combining an image with a title in a way that absolutely reaches out and grabs the reader by the collar. It is that cover and the title that attracted many to the book. I will admit, I thought the book started a little slow, but there was no way I was going to quit reading–not with the promise of a school of people with wondrous abilities. The reader’s patience is rewarded when we are introduced to Emma, Olive, Millard, and the others (and not much of a spoiler alert, they get their own photos as well).

I found this to be a great example for our writer friends as evidenced by comments on Amazon and Goodreads as well as my own experience: While you can’t always judge a book by its cover, some times it’s not so bad if you can. The actual quote of not judging a book by its cover can be dated back to the mid-19th century. Books during that time were somewhat limited by the printing capabilities at the time, and their covers were often abstract designs or simplistic representations of the story inside. In contrast, today’s books take full advantage of full-color printing and computer-generated artwork. Even if the actual book resembles those of long ago (cardboard covered by thin cloth or leather), the book jackets can be amazing. And regardless of the cover, the title can always be amazing. I know it may sound simplistic, but Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children nails both of these in the most amazing manner.

Some of the books I picked up at our recent Friends of the Library sail, I did so mostly because of the name and/or title:

Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson. I thought the title was catchy and combined with the cover offered what I hope to be a witty and humorous journey.









Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith. Okay, so the cover isn’t really the greatest, but the straight forward title made me want to read. I’m a sucker for cryptozoology.








The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet. This one got me on both fronts. The cover is telling and beautiful and the title has me really intrigued.








So what books have you been drawn to simply by their cover or titles? Let us know!

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