Yeah, yeah, there is that old saying (which is true), but I thought I’d list books whose covers I think are beautiful, made me pick the book up initially, or I simply like. There are often several variants to book covers based on editions, reprints, etc. The cover is meant to entice you or else they wouldn’t spruce them up. I’m a sucker for cool artwork too. Here are several that I enjoy.
The Sword of Angels
This cover is actually the reason I picked up this trilogy by John Marco. I saw this cover, thought it looked cool, found out it was the third book in the series, and went on to buy the first book. I need to re-read this series since it has been (I believe) over ten years since I first read it and a fourth book has been released since then that continues the story of one of the main characters.
Another simplistic cover that goes along with an equally simplistic yet mysterious title. This collection of short stories, and one novella, by Ted Chiang is a great read for any SFF fans or if you like stories that make you think.
The Faded Sun Trilogy
I picked up a copy of this trilogy in one volume a long time ago. The cover was of course a factor. I had no idea who C.J. Cherryh was but she has become an author whose work I really need to look into, which of course means I have yet to read this trilogy. I have a lot of books on my TBR and I will get to them eventually. I’ve been trying to read through the books I have and purchase fewer books.
Memories of Ice
Memories of Ice is actually book three of The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. This is the first on this list of books I picked up because of the cover but have not yet read. The Malazan series is a larger series and I currently have the first five books. I plan to read them some day, but I just haven’t gotten around to it just yet.
Okay. There are a lot of different versions, retellings, and of course covers of the Norse Myths. The cover I refer to specifically is a recent retelling by Neil Gaiman. I think the cover is fantastic and we get a few versions of it. One for hardback and one for paperback. I have a copy of both mainly because I happened to get an opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the paperback, which honestly is the cover I like best. I think there are a few other variants of the hardback cover (which is different from the paperback version you see here) but they are different color backgrounds including black, white, and red.
There are a lot of different covers for Fahrenheit 451 as it has become a classic and is taught in schools. I particularly enjoy the simplistic 60th anniversary cover as well as the Folio Society version which I recently acquired.
A Memory of Light
The final installment of The Wheel of Time. This cover actually holds more significance because it comes at the end of a long journey and holds the fates of many beloved characters, which makes this cover perhaps the only one on this list linked directly to the story it tells. I’m sure there will be many new covers for the books in this series as time goes on and as the television series releases, but the original (to me) will always have a certain appeal.
Too Like The Lightning
I purchased this book from a big sale my local library puts on every year so I was able to get it really cheap. I picked this one up for two reasons. The cover, and the fact that it made a bit of a wave when it first released however many years ago that was (it was 2016). I believe this is the first of a four-book series by Ada Palmer with the first three currently available, which is a good reason for me to wait a bit longer to read this book as I prefer to read series that are complete since I often need to re-read the first books when a new installment comes out if it has been a while since the initial read.
Like The Magician, this cover is for the first of a series that caught my eye. I think the artwork on all the covers is great, but this one made me give the book a try. I read the first three of the series by Tom Lloyd and then stopped as the final two books had not yet released. I plan to return and re-read the entire series some time.
I remember this one distinctly. I was in high school and about to go on a small trip to visit family when I picked this one up. The version I bought was actually two books in one and was my introduction to Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar Saga. I have read the saga but have not read much beyond the core books and into the ever expansive world(s) contained in the larger Riftwar Cycle. I picked up the book for my trip because the cover did interest me, especially at the age of 15 with the image of the wizard, and I always enjoy magic.
All Systems Red
Last but not least, The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. I absolutely adore this series and have also loved the cover art for each book. Network Effect is the fifth installment that was released earlier this year, and we will get the sixth book, Fugitive Telemetry, next year.
8 thoughts on “Who Said You Should Never Judge A Book By Its Cover?”
Covers make a huge difference to me.
Really? How so? I’ve never refused to read anything based on a cover, but I know they can influence expectations.
For example, if a book has a picture of a girl in a flowing gown on the cover, I’m less inclined to pick it up. If it has a cartoony look to it (something along the lines of Red, White, and Royal Blue) I assume it’s a lighthearted one- time read so I’ll get it from the library instead of buying it. Wow, I’m kind of a snob. 😬 If it’s original, or has kind of old- school fantasy art, I’m more likely to look at the description.
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It’s kind of a “feels like____” situation for me.
Interesting. Have you ever been surprised? I’m just curious. I get the intuition about a story based on a cover, and it has some truth, but I would hate to miss out on something good based on a “misread” cover (pun intended).
Absolutely! I’ve been trying to read more outside my usual type and I’ve learned that I miss out when I judge solely on cover. I’ve gotten some awesome recommendations from bookbloggers which has also given me a broader appreciation. I’m still not a romance or erotica reader, but I’m reading and enjoying more nonfiction than I expected which is pretty cool.
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That’s awesome! I’ve never really been interested in romance or erotica either. I like to read around though and try different areas. I’ve been reading more nonfiction and memoirs. I still read a lot of science fiction and fantasy though, but I’m continuously exploring. I don’t believe anyone will like everything out there, so I never feel bad when I don’t like something. Especially if it’s in a genre I usually like.
That’s a good way to think about it. That’s why I write negative reviews as well as positive: something that I don’t care for in a book might be the very thing that makes someone else pick up that book and love it. I love that there is so much variety in writing. I don’t really think there are “bad” books. Usually if a book isn’t well recieved by a reader, it just needs a different reader.
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