Covering Up: BTT

Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question comes from Julie, who asks:

While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching f
or it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Does it effect my reading enjoyment? Not really. Right now I'm reading Hawaii by James Michener and the cover is hideous. It looks like a Hawaii tourism poster from the 1960's. It doesn't reflect the book at all, which is really good. I admit that I wished I could have found a better copy but since this was for my bookclub, I took what I could get.

Here are some ugly covers on good books. Luckily none of these are on my bookshelves.

Softcovers are easier to read because they aren't as clunky as hardcovers.
I haven't really thought about fonts, so I guess that doesn't matter much.


  1. Since I get many recommendations from reading about a book, the cover doesn't influence me a lot. Font does though.

    Happy Thursday!

  2. You're right, those are really very ugly covers. I wonder who the publishers thought they were going to attract using them?

  3. That Rebecca cover is one of the worst. Seriously. I've had the book on my shelves for years, but that d&#$ cover always turns me off!

  4. Amy- Now that I think of it really small font is annoying.

    Table Talk- I have no idea!

    Andi- Yes, and it's a shame. It's such a good book. If they wanted to do just the title on the cover, a black background and red gothic style letters would have fitted the book better.

  5. I actually like that Handmaid's Tale book. I guess I have bad taste. :)

  6. Those covers you posted are amusing! If I'm browsing in the library then book covers do a lot for me - they attract me in. If I'm purchasing a hardcover then I definitely get very, very picky about which cover it has.

  7. That cover of the Handmaid's Tale is really really awful! I'm sure glad I didn't see it before I went to read the book! (Covers influence me more than I'd like them to)

  8. I do hate a bad cover, it does influence me when I am browsing. The ones you've chosen are truly horrible. I would never pick them up if I didn't know the author. They give a completely wrong impression of the book.

  9. Hey, I think I read that copy of Handmaid's Tale. You're right about it being a pretty awful cover though. There's a cover for Mordecai Richler's Cocksure that I was embarrassed to be reading in public, too!

  10. Megan- Sorry :)

    Heather- The marketers must know what they're doing then.

    Jeane- Good book, bad cover.

    Alix- Especially Rebecca. It's not a romance at all.

    John- I know the cover you're referring to. Yeah, I'd have to cover that up with something. I can just imagine the looks I'd get.

  11. I have this same copy of Rebecca! I have kept it hidden with a brown cover! Or it hurts my eyes!


    Booking through cover

  12. You're right, those covers are pretty hideous. I like the cover on my copy of The Handmaid's Tale. :-)

  13. When I lost my copy of Handmaid's Tale a few years ago, the replacement had to be the exact same cover. It's not the one you pictured. :)

    That cover of Rebecca is the reason why, for the longest time, I thought 'Rebecca' was a very popular, Harlequin romance-type novel!

  14. I hate covers that are basically the poster for the movie version. "Now a Major Motion Picture" on the cover turns me off. I hate it that my copy of The Age of Innocence has Michelle Pfeiffer on the cover looking like she's having an orgasm.

    But it always cracks me up when, on public television here in the States, they show an adaptation of a classic novel and then tell you how you can order "the companion novel." As if Jane Eyre, for example, were Charlotte Brontë's novelization of a television miniseries.

  15. I know people pick up books because of their covers. I do. I bought a book,ONE RED PAPERCLIP, because the cover was so great. It was a good book, but I can imagine some with good covers are not.

  16. Gautami- Bright, isn't it?

    Nyssaneala- That Rebecca cover is everywhere. I wish they'd re-release it with a different one.

    Rob- LOL! You mean, she didn't?!

    Karen- Is that the one where the guy traded a paperclip for a house?

  17. Oh, man. Those covers. So. Hideous. Eyes. Bleeding.


  18. I don't mind reading a good book with a bad cover, but the fonts does matter to me.

  19. I don't care for those covers either. It's sometimes really interesting to see just how much the cover fits the book. Sometimes they do and sometimes not at all.

  20. Ug I really don't like those covers. If I saw Rebecca like that I can't see anything that would induce me to pick it up and read the blurb and I love that book.

  21. Those are ugly covers. Happy BTT.

  22. Hi!

    I prefer paperbacks rather than hardcovers because they are so much lighter! But having a hardback would make me feel kind of grand too.

    Well, the cover of the book kind of influences me too. I think I'm the judge a book by its cover kind of person...unfortunately! =)


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