Thursday, April 10, 2008

Judging a book by a Cover

Apparently this is something you are not meant to do, and perhaps for good reason, but lets face it, we all do it. And to be honest, it's never done me that badly. I recently got Temeraire by Naomi Novik out from the library, pretty much on the strength of the pretty cover- I had seen it for sale, and had almost got it then for the same reaon, but this way I get to read it for free, so go me.

I have to say I really enjoyed it- it's set in the Napoleonic wars, with England on the edge of losing, the twist being that in this world dragons exist, and are used by humans as a matter of air attack. Some of you may be aware of Napoleon's supposed plans to invade England- by air, sea and underground, of which only one managed to work. Well in this case instead of balloons he has dragons....

It was good fun. The blurb recommends it quite well, with a quote from the Times and the Telegraph, and randomly, Peter Jackson, but realistically the reason I was drawn to it was the pretty cover.

I think many book publishers are beginning to get it into their skulls that covers are important. Terry Pratchett novels no longer have the embarrasing fantasy drawings done by third rate artists on them, and the same with Neil Gaiman. It was always kind of embarrasing to read a book with people with lots of goofy expressions on the front, and often women in a state of undress, despite such a thing really not being the theme of the story at all....

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At 1:27 pm, Blogger Hilarious Catastrophes said...

Maybe there is something to be said for book covers... I don't always care, but if i think the cover of a book looks out-dated or childish (HP not included)or tacky then i'm less likely to want to read it... maybe because I'd be embarrassed to read it on the train! Similarly, book titles can be embarrassing... I like to think of this as a little harmless snobbery! :o)

At 1:30 am, Blogger Kirbie said...

I always liked the Terry Pratchett covers


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