Monday, November 16, 2009

Judging Books by their Covers

Stack of books in forest
I know there is a more universal application of the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover," but I've always taken the phrase very literally. When I'm in bookstores I have to remind myself not to judge the books by the covers in front of me. Sometimes, the cover is plain or boring or looks too schmoopy (romantic, wistful, blech, etc.) for me. But today at the used book store, I had the opposite problem.
The book was Memoirs of a Beatnik, and the cover was the most amazing, colorful piece of art I'd seen on a nonfiction book. Even the texture was pleasing. I cannot find an image with the cover I'd found or I would link to it, but trust me - it was beautiful.
I almost bought it just for the cover. And it's not that I think I would hate the book - I think I'd like it. But not enough to own it. So I had to keep reminding myself, "Do not judge this book based solely on the cover."
I was in the biography section when I came across the book, and I was so struck by the various biographies that are published. For example, Fantasia (the girl, not the movie), wants me to know that Life is NOT a Fairy Tale. (Thanks, Fantasia). A lot of people want to tell me about their triumphs (and I would read them! I really would! But I can't take all the crying that comes along with the reading, Michael J. Fox. I just can't). Kelsey Grammer wants me to know that he has even written a biography (why?).
So, no books for me today. But that's fine. Because there are plenty of times that the book has the perfect marriage of beautiful cover and amazing story inside, and I have a full bookcase to prove it. (Hey! Send me book recommendations if you want. I totally dig them.)

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