Judge a Book by its Cover!
We have all heard the maxim "don't judge a book by its cover." But let us be honest. When it comes to books, how many of us are attracted by either the cover and/or by the title? You may well say that a beguiling cover or a provocative title does not guarantee a good read; that a book with a plain cover and a simple title can be a delightfully gratifying read. I admit that there have been books which I started reading because of their irresistible covers, only to abandon them halfway through because they proved to be an utter waste of time. On the other hand, I have also been amply rewarded for selecting books simply because their covers have appealed to my aesthetics.
Research suggests that we humans are predominantly visual beings. Over the years, I have read many a book solely attracted by an eye-catching cover or a catchy title. Certain book covers, due to their compelling color and/or design drew my attention or a provocative title piqued my interest. What follows is a list of books that I read primarily because of their stunning covers or their intriguing titles and I am glad I did so. Of course, I will forgo mentioning the titles for which the contents fell far short of the expectations created by the promising covers!
Depicted by a graceful swan nestled against the clouds, while the title and author's name appears in stylistic red font, The Fall of Light by Niall Williams, is a lush and lyrically written saga set in 19th century Ireland. It tells the story of a father and his four sons as they try to seek a better life. The sweep of this novel is epic, the language is gorgeous and the story is heart-warming.
I love houses. I love looking at pictures of houses. I mooch copies of the magazine This Old House from a friend! So, naturally, when I saw the book cover with a row of prettily colored houses with an intriguing title, I grabbed it. Civil & Strange by Clair Ni Anonghusa, is a novel set in modern day Ireland. Reminiscent of Maeve Binchy's novels, this book tells the story of a thirty-something teacher who leaves her husband and escapes from her city life in Dublin to a tranquil village where she had spent many idyllic summers in her childhood. Richly descriptive and full of interesting characters, this was an easy and enjoyable read. By the way, the pithy title is a local expression meaning “be polite on the surface but keep your distance.”
Can you judge a book by its cover? Yes, absolutely ...er sometimes.