It’s interesting how we so often judge books by their covers, isn’t it? I know I do when I’m browsing in a bookstore. Interesting cover, pick it up, check out the blurb. Sounds interesting, buy it.
Speaking of covers, I highly recommend checking out this article: Coverflip: author Maureen Johnson turns tables on gendered book covers. It started with this tweet:
I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says, “Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. – signed, A Guy”
— maureenjohnson (@maureenjohnson) May 6, 2013
Maureen threw out a challenge –
1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.)
2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. Or a genderqueer author. Imagine all the things you think of when you think GIRL book or BOY book or GENDERLESS book (do they EXIST?). And I’m not saying that these categorizations are RIGHT—but make no mistake, they’re there.
3. Now, COVERFLIP! Make the new cover and put it online. Tweet or Tumbl it with the tag #coverflip.
The Huffington Post picked up on some of the entries. Go have a look and see, the results are absolutely fascinating.
I’m completely certain that I’ve missed out on a great number of excellent books this way, so it’s nice to have the backup of recommendations from friends, either in person or on a site like Goodreads. I’ve also been fortunate to get a variety of books from various lovely publishers via the magic of Twitter. See a book competition, enter it – I could fuel my To Read pile from Twitter-sourced books alone!
Which leads me back to the brilliant photo above – what books might you be missing out on purely down to them having a cover which doesn’t catch your eye?
Also, with the advent of the Kindle, we’ve lost (or are starting to lose) that link between book and cover – no longer can you sit on the train and peer at what your fellow commuters are reading, and I’m sure we’d be surprised at some!
Have you read any great books despite the cover?
- Coverflip: author Maureen Johnson turns tables on gendered book covers (guardian.co.uk)
- YA Author Takes On Gendered Book Covers With the Coverflip Challenge (themarysue.com)