Judging a Book by its Cover


There’s a new trend. Well, maybe not so new, but it is popping up on home improvement shows and in interior design books. It’s the ‘white book’ or the ‘gray book’ or the ‘whatever color you need to match your décor book.’ Have you seen it? Decorators take books, mostly chapter books that are all the same height, remove the book covers and replace the book covers with a plain basic cover with no spine text so that there are rows and rows of books on a shelf that match or accentuate a room’s color.

Decorators love it, but do readers? I would think most readers would not. I know this reader is not a fan of the décor. When I walk into someone’s home, I do look at the décor and enjoy a pleasantly decorated room, but I am also in awe of the homeowner’s book shelf. A person’s book shelf tells a lot about him. It tells visitors about this person’s interests, his genre preference, what this person reads to take him to another place. A book shelf with only ‘white books’ or ‘green books’ doesn’t really tell anyone about the homeowner, except possibly that the books are only decorations and not read. A person’s bookshelf’s book spines are literal decorations, decorations of a personal magnitude.

Am I judging a book by its cover? Yes, I admit that I am. In fact, I am in awe of covers. Book covers seem to invite me to read the inside jacket flap. The colors that are used, the characters that are on the front and in what time or setting it appears these characters are living in, the mystery between the title and the cover art- all fascinating to me. The book cover will tell me if I am going to another land or tells me something intriguing or mysterious will take place within the pages. Am I the only one? No, I am not and you all know this every time you take a child to the library. Many of the books that are on display are the first to be checked out. Why? Most of the time it has to do with the lure of the book cover. Sure, a popular author begs to be checked out, but a beautiful cover begs to be taken home, sat on the table to be displayed in one’s own personal space until the time comes to open the beautiful piece and begin to be transported into somewhere new.

In this issue of Read and Shine I invite you to look at our Thematic Reading List, which is a list of books with fascinating book covers. Some of the covers are very colorful while others are wrap-around covers. Some are covers that are filled with mystery and intrigue. Some just make you laugh. Some are picture books, while others are chapter and YA books. All are inviting, and that’s why we chose them. Feel free to add a few of your favorites in our Leave a Reply comment section.


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