Judging books by their covers

I recently commented in a review that I had promised myself I would stop picking up books who had women walking away from me on the covers a) because there are a lot of them and I might never end up reading anything else and b) because a lot of them weren’t as good as I’d hope.

Then, it ended up I really enjoyed the book with that very woman walking away from me and thought it was a really good thing I’d ignored my own advice.  In fact, when I think about it a lot of the best books I’ve read these last few years have been if not flukes but down to my habit of not reading what the book is about but just going “ooh I like the look of that”.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few (clicking on the image will take you too the review)…

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Of course, it doesn’t always work out the way I hoped it would as the following prove…

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Still, with the law of averages (or other mathematical processes I know little about), I think I’m doing pretty well.  I have more hits than misses, which can’t be a bad thing.

What do you think?  Is is o.k. to judge books by their cover? Do any of these look good enough for you to read without knowing more?

Emma x


  1. I HATE when people judge books by their covers…. but I’m so guilty of doing it myself 😊 I’m going to do a post about this very thing soon!

    1. I know, we shouldn’t but how can you not? It’s what grabs your eye you tend to pick up. I’ll keep an eye out for your post. Interesting to see what caught your eye…

  2. Guilty! How interesting though, as I’d have been tempted by The Lauras based on its intriguing cover alone… Of course I always go on to read the blurb to make sure I’ll enjoy reading it, but the honest truth is, if a book ‘looks’ attractive the chances are I’ll be more drawn to it than if it has a dodgy cover (unless its an author I’ve read before and I *know* their writing’s superb).

    1. Glad it’s not just me. The Lauras has haunted me as I didn’t initially request it but I kept getting caught by the cover till I couldn’t say no…and lived to regret it!

  3. Covers are a weakness of mine – especially spooky looking covers! Sometimes it bites me but for the most part I’ve found some favorites. There are some books I almost didn’t read because I hated the cover or because I thought it was something else. Those girl walking away covers are my kryptonite. I need to find out what’s going on!

    1. I just think it makes me happier to pick up a book I like the look of. These women walking away though, especially if they have on a bright coat…I just can’t stop myself!

  4. I have a thing about book covers that show a guy with admirable pecs….and while I enjoy a look, too, I turn away from any stories that seem to be so superficial.

    As for girls turning away, I often wonder about the thinking. Are the authors hoping we will have our own visual images of the characters?

    From those you shared, I’ve only read The Girls…and enjoyed it. My cover was a different one, though.

    The Lauras was a book I considered…but then I read some reviews that told me I wouldn’t like it any better than The Shore, the author’s previous book.

    1. I can see why you would look at books with pecs…who wouldn’t – though they signal romance to me which I haven’t read since I was a teenager. I do wish I hadn’t read The Lauras but the cover kept pulling me up on Netgalley till I couldn’t resist. Wrong choice!m

  5. I don’t usually go by covers but when walking through the airport or bookstores back in the day I would definitely choose one at times.

    From your list 3 spoke to me, This Book Will Save Your Life, read your review and was sold, went to amazon to buy, a different cover which I hate and then I said, hmmm, no.

    Blame – loved your review and cover, I just bought it, yaaaaay

    Cinderella Girl – read your review, I think I have this on my wishlist already, we will see.

    So a WIN for me. I will have to come back and check out some of the others, but thanks for Blame, had never heard of it.

    1. Too funny on This Book Will Save Your Life…who couldn’t resist a book with donuts on it so why change it? I hope you enjoy Blame. I have just read another by the same author, Forgotten and it was good too!

  6. As you probably know from my Cover Love blog series I usually judge books by their covers. This method has served me very well over the years. Several of the ones you’ve included would entice me without even reading the blurb. They are: “Cinderella girl”, “The well”, “All these perfect strangers”, “The dinosaur feather”, and “Two days gone”. Two of the ones I mentioned are already on my TBR.

    1. It’s one of those things that I know I shouldn’t do but this totally non-scientific test proved it does work…most of the time.

  7. I’m ALWAYS judging books by their covers – but then, I’m a really shallow sort of reader…

    1. A woman after my own heart ❤️

  8. […] Thursday, I wrote about my habit of judging books by their covers and how it’s not done too badly for me, even though I know it’s something I […]

  9. I don’t even bother pretending I don’t judge books by their covers. I do. And I’m not one little bit sorry. 🙂

    1. I just don’t know how you can. It’s a bit like food and eating with your eyes…

  10. […] resist a good cover and actually wrote about this cover love a while ago (you can find the post here).  So, rather than repeating myself I thought I would just share some of my recent favourite […]

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