08 November 2007

judging books by their covers.

A few days ago, I was in a book store looking for a book. Nothing specific, just a nice work of fiction to read as I fall asleep at night. As I made my way through the fiction section at my local bookseller I became conscious of my book choosing behavior.

First I go to the shelves of favorite authors, Joyce Carol Oates is one, Edgewidge Danticat is another. I stay open to anything appealing I may stumble across along the way. Next I peruse the tables and the endcaps. I end up wandering around with an armfull of books and sit down to look through them all in order to whittle it down to the one.

In the end a few factors ultimately help me make a decision: I like to support women authors, so I look at that, I also think carefully about the story at hand and the price matters too. But what I really, truly tend to depend on is cover art. seriously. I know it goes against the classic saying, but I just can't help it. There are some pretty amazing & appealing covers out there.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a shining example. This also happens to be the book I purchased and am currently reading. The cover art is quite lovely and completely caught my eye. The book itself is a fantastic work of fiction and came highly recommended by a number of friends. But in the end, as I stood at there, trying to pick one of three books to purchase the cover is what sealed the deal.



  1. Oooh goodie!

    I'm SO glad you are reading that book. It was the best thing I've read in the last year, hands down.

  2. I know..you are one of the friends who highly recommended. I can't wait to talk to you about it!

  3. I totally do the same process for my books. Today I had to talk myself out of buying an absolutely horrible book--but it's cover art was so pretty that I had a hard time putting it down.

    Water For Elephants felt more like a screen play to me than a book; it has the stock characters, a colorful locale, the coming of age story (for both young and old man), but it definitely reads like a "first" book. It reminded me a lot of Sophie's Choice, but with a happy ending.

  4. I just realized that you might not be finished with the book yet. If so, dis-regard my last sentence. Who knows how it ends?