There are many reasons to decide to read a book – a favorite author, a recommendation from a friend, buzz, dearth of other reading material next to the toilet… the list is endless. One that I know is quite common (although not often acknowledged by some ‘intellectual’ readers) is very simple – the cover. It’s happened to me on more than one occasion, especially back in my compulsive book-buying days. One example I can think of off the top of my head is Nicola Barker’s Darkmans. This is the cover that sucked me in:
I can’t even necessarily tell you why it is that this cover appealed to me so much (although, as Stephen King’s It is one of my favorite books, I have a fondness for stories that might have something to do with a sinister clown). Whatever the reason, I bought Darkmans on the spot, knowing nothing about it other than what I could infer from the cover. That’s the power that covers have.
The New York Times has a great review of the 19 Best Book Covers of 2012. It’s well worth a look. Here are some of my favorites from their list: