Thursday, October 18, 2012

Booking Through Thursday - Covers

Another Thursday another Booking Through Thursday question. Though they managed to sneak in multiple questions this week: What book(s) have your favorite covers? Something that’s perfect for the story, the tone, the colors, the mood…
And did you pick up the book BECAUSE of the cover? Or were you going to read it anyway, and the cover was just serendipitous?

I have to say, covers don't mean very much to me. I'm definitely attracted to titles, and when browsing in a store you mostly just see the spine of the book. When I pick up a book to examine it more closely I'll normally go to the blurb on the back, often without looking at the cover at all. Then I'll read a few pages - that's what does it for me. It's the words of a book that matter, not the pictures.

An example that comes to mind is Michael Connelly's A Darkness More Than Night. I love that title. It immediately sets a tone that strikes a chord with me. The story sounds interesting and having read Connelly before I know I like his writing. The cover is a yellow eye in the middle of all black. It does nothing for me. It's kind of obvious that even the publisher is expecting to sell this book off the name of the author more than the picture it shows.

But to try to answer the question - one book that I did pick up because of the cover was The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I had never heard of it or him. I found it stacked in amongst the thrillers at an airport book store. The old fashioned, out of focus photo on the cover is very different from most thrillers (so is the book). It caught my attention when the title did nothing for me. Just knowing it was set in turn of the (last) century New York was enough to make it interesting, so I gave it a try. It was exactly what I was expecting, but ultimately the reason I liked it was because it was good writing.


  1. The Alienist has a great captivating cover.

  2. An inviting cover certainly enhances the overall image of the finished work. Of course, have to agree with you that an apt title that conveys what's in store contributes lots too. Two thumbs up to both book covers.

  3. Those covers would definitely get my interest too. Alienist looks like a book about the holocaust or about a family in WW1 or WW2.