Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bookie Brunch - with a giveaway!!

  It's Sunday, which means it's time for Bookie Brunch!!!    Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. The discussion is open from Sunday through Wednesday, and you’re welcome to drop by any time to add your opinion or read what other people have to say. This discussion is open as well to general readers or bloggers in a different field, authors, publishers and publicists.
Courtesy guidelines: Thank you for coming! All thoughtful comments will be considered and probably get a response from fellow bloggers. In fact, you’re encouraged to talk about it and share viewpoints or include links to relevant materials. We’d like everyone to have a nice time. Differing viewpoints are just fine, even if strongly expressed, but inflammatory or off-topic comments will be removed.
This Brunch, my guests are: Sarah (Sarah Says Read), Melody (Book and Music Lover), Jessica from Shut Up! I'm Reading and Gabriel (Gabriel Reads).

Our question is: Does cover art influence what you read?  If you aren’t familiar with an author, and you don’t like the cover art, would you try the book?   Have you ever loved the cover art, and didn’t enjoy the book?

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Jessica has a great feature on her blog, called Judging a Book by its Cover, so I figured she'd be the perfect person to invite to Brunch this Sunday.   And here's what she had to share with us:  
Does cover art influence what you read? 
I try not to let it influence what I read too much... but sometimes I can't help myself.  Take the book I'm reading now, for example, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. The cover art for it is GORGEOUS and the moment I saw it, I knew that I needed to read it.

If you aren’t familiar with an author, and you don’t like the cover art, would you try the book?  
If it's an author I don't know, and the cover art is particularly awful, then honestly I probably wouldn't pick it up. However, if I then heard great things about the book or author, I'd pick it up and ignore the cover art. 

Have you ever loved the cover art, and didn’t enjoy the book?
Actually, yes, this has happened in quite a few cases: Untraviolet by RJ Anderson, Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw, Dark Parties by Sara Grant, and Possession by Elana Johnson. So there's some definite proof that the cover definitely isn't always as appealing as what's inside.
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Sarah had her own thoughts to add,  *Enjoying hot orange tea with lots of honey*

Cover art definitely influences what I do and don't read, to a certain extent. Who doesn't love a good-looking or interesting cover? There are books that I picked up off a shelf because the cover caught my eye and I read for no other reason - and I ended up loving most of them. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory was one, Eragon by Christopher Paolini was another. The covers were just so pretty that I had to check them out!
As for bad cover art... I'll still try the book if it looks interesting or if it comes really highly recommended. Perfect Fudge by Hazel M. Larsen is a great example - it's a self-published book so the cover art wasn't great, but Jenn (at recommended it and she was so enthusiastic about it. I read it, and it was actually a pretty great read, so don't let bad cover art fool you. Another good example is The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula le Guin. She is an amazing sci-fi / fantasy author, but most of her older covers are just awful.

I'm sure there's a book I've read that had a great cover that I didn't like, but I can't think of any examples. They either must not have been that bad, or were so bad that I just blocked them from my mind. I definitely support judging books by their covers - I think that if a cover appeals to you, there's a good chance the book itself will as well. Just don't forget that there are always exceptions out there!

Thanks, Sarah!!!
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And now, I'll weigh in with my own opinion ---- I think cover art has more influence on readers than some people think it does.    If a book has an appealing cover, I think it gets picked up more.  I see this all the time in my library ---- there are books with beautiful covers, and they get checked out, even if they aren't probably the most amazing read, and there are other books which get great reviews, and sound good, but because the cover art isn't too good, they just sit on the shelf.     I was talking about this with one of my friends recently and we thought it could make an interesting book display if we were to grab some good but ugly books, re-do the covers, and then put them in a display.   It would be a bit of work (especially since books aren't all one size), but I think it could definitely be interesting.

much better.
Personally, while I do sometimes pick up a book because of the cover art, I grab most of my books at the library based on reviews and summaries (which, as a librarian, I'm always reading), and, actually, the title, if I happen to be browsing the new book area.  I have read great books with uninspiring cover art, and so-so books where the cover art is gorgeous.    I've also read books where the copy I have has ugly cover art, but then a newer edition comes out with a much prettier cover (this happened with one of the books I got for the library and it was annoying ---- I was glad people have checked out the book many times, despite the ugly cover).

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Melody had her bit to add in:  Cover art definitely influences what I read. I know I should never judge a book by it's cover, but I do it a lot anyway. The cover art is what makes the first impression and I feel it is very important. If the cover is interesting then I want to read what the book is about. If I'm not familiar with an author and don't like the cover then I will not try the book unless someone recommends it to me. There have been some cases where I really liked the cover art but did not like the book. Fallen by Lauren Kate is one of those. I absolutely adore the cover of that book, I think it is very beautiful, dark, and mysterious. However when I actually read the book, I did not enjoy it at all. It is very disappointing when that happens.

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And now, here is the GIVEAWAY!!! About:  Once a month on a Monday night, eight students gather in chef Lillian’s restaurant kitchen for a cooking class. The students have come to learn the art behind Lillian's soulful dishes, but it soon becomes clear that each one unknowingly seeks a recipe for something

beyond the kitchen... (More)  and please click HERE to see the author discuss her book (because the html doesn't want to cooperate today) Clip courtesy of PNWA
Browse: Excerpt   | Recipes

Details: This could be a nice gift for a favorite foodie, or just a cozy read for chilly weather. To win this book, please leave email info and thoughtful or interesting comment below. A winner will be   picked at random. If host and guests agree that a specific visitor comment is substantial, outstanding, or in some other way has particular merit, they can override  pick at their discretion. International. Through December 15, 2011, 12 midnight EDT.

Goodies brought by: Sasha Soren (Random Magic)     

Find Random Magic: Amazon | Kindle
Explore Random Magic: YouTube |  Tumblr | Twitter

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Be a guest at an upcoming brunch: @StoryWings
Bring goodies for a giveaway: @StoryWings
Suggest a question: @LiederMadchen
Browse Bookie Brunch discussions (after July 2011, archive): The Fluidity of Time


Unknown said...

Great post everyone! I love hearing about all your thoughts on all these wonderful topics!

AubrieAnne said...

I think this is a great topic, especially for people that are always on the look out for the next thing to read. I read a ton, so often I don't have the luxury of getting book referrals from friends. Usually, I am the one giving the referrals, so I am always out there looking for the next great read.

Cover art is usually the first thing to grab my attention because I can't read the titles from more than 3 feet away. So, generally, I always start with cover art. Plus, the fact that I studied graphic design makes me attracted to covers as well. Then, I read the title, even if the cover art isn't particularly interesting, and if everything seems to be sitting well after that, I read the summary on the back. Summary can make or break a story for me. I don't want to know too much about the book, but I do want to get the general idea. I don't like picking up a book and then it turns out to be so different than I thought it would be.

Yes, I have read books with beautiful cover art that I did not like, but usually it is something else that failed me as well, like the summary sounded way more exciting than it actually was.

So, to reiterate in just a few words...Summary, summary, summary!

Jo K said...

At the library or a book store, the cover art is the first thing that grabs my attention, but then It's up to the blurb/description whether I read the book or not. I cannot remember a book with a beautiful cover which i didn't like, because like i said, the blurb/description is a decisive factor. However, I know there were books with great covers and appealing blur that I did not like or even did not finish. But, as it is usually with me, I forgot the titles (which, in this case, is not such a shame anyway).

Stephanie said...

Books covers tend to draw my attention right away. If it's not a good cover, it's makes me not want to read it. So, now I try to focus more on the synopsis and judge the book based on that.

Wings said...

Great brunch! I have long been a cover whore...most of my favourite bios I only picked up because Of their covers. I have only struck out once with a cover they I loved and I book that was disappointing and that was take me there :) even now with all the recommendations and great books I still won't pick up a book that I don't like the cover of.

Chrystal said...

I have to say that cover art does affect many of my book buying decisions, but not all. If a book sounds really great from the blurb on the back I will give it a try. Sometimes the title draws me in and sometimes I'll read a book with a bad cover because someone told me it was amazing. And yes I've read many a book with gorgeous covers and terrible stories/writing.

I know we are not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but sometimes those covers are just too gorgeous to pass up. :)

Sarah said...

I like the comparison between The Name of the Wind covers, that's a great example! Thanks for having me!

Jen said...

Great comments, everyone! I am definitely thinking I will go forward with my idea for the "new covers on old books" display at the library. I will admit, shiny beautiful cover art does catch my eye!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

While the cover art may make me stop, pick up a book and read the blurb on the back, it only does that. The blurb, the author's name, and the reviews I read are what determines if I buy and read it.

vvb32 reads said...

yes, to all here. although there are some books that i bought because of the cover and have yet to crack open.

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