J is for Jackets, or Judging A Book By Its Cover

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter

J is for Jacket.

(See how the letter J illustrated above goes with the whole Jacket theme? Huh? Do you see it? Isn’t it clever? Aren’t I annoying?)

Yes, I do judge books by their covers. I’m pretty sure we all do it, even if we pretend we don’t. How do I know? I work in a bookshop and a lot of my job is receiving books, both new books that are shipped to us from publishers & distributers, and used books that people sell us. I like my job because it means I touch almost every book that comes into the store. I get to see what people ordered, and I get to see the new arrivals when they first arrive. This is a fun job. Since the bookshop that I work in is a Theological Bookstore, not all the books have enthralling covers. Many are pretty straightforward with one or two colours and title and author. Sometimes books with well-designed and attractive covers come in and these often attract the attention of the staff. Once a really badly designed book cover came in. I’m afraid we judged the book and we still mock the cover. Have a look:

Seriously. C’mon. Who thought that having a back-lit grim-reaper figure would somehow make this book better? Yes, I’m judging. The cover screams that church planters are scary horror movie figures. It says Run Away! (Side feminist note: the subtitle implies that church planters are all men. Hmm.)

Here is a cover I like:

True, the feminist in me cringes at grown women calling themselves “girls,” but I like the cover, and the recipes look good too.

Book covers are a part of picking books. Without well-designed covers, books can become bundles of print that are difficult to distinguish from one another. Here are some more beautiful covers.


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