Confessions of a Reader: I’m a Cover Snob

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It’s time for Confessions of a Reader! You can read more about the idea here, but here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Whenever you have something you want to share, just spill it (you know you want to). Just create a post of your own, grab the button thingy above and then post a comment with the link to your post.
  2. I will be here every Saturday, but you need not commit to a weekly post. Post when you have something to share.
  3. Posts can be rants about something you are reading, or a deep, dark secret. All I ask is that the post relates to reading or blog reading in some way. If you want to piggy-back off of what I post, then that’s okay too.
  4. Posts can be as short or as long as you like and can include more than one topic.
  5. The goal is to get to know one another better.

Here’s mine: 

I’m a cover snob. 

I know many readers are like this and that I am not alone. However, if I see another reader with a book that happens to have a questionable cover (in my eyes), then I immediately think that they are not ‘true’ readers. My main issue is with Chick Lit. The bright pinks, the shoes, the lipstick and shopping bags. I inwardly groan when I see covers like this. I also take issue with some of the Fantasy covers I’ve seen. They sort of look like my kid drew them. Gargoyle-like creatures, bad composition, use of color, etc. Oh, and this has nothing to do with content! I realize that there could be a well-written story underneath that cover but if the cover does not strike me, I tend to turn a blind eye to it. 

A few months ago I read a post on this very subject and I said in my comments that I would never think negatively about a reader if he/she possessed a book with questionable cover. At the time, I truly believed what I wrote,  but I was in denial. I do judge a reader by the cover of the book they are reading. The other thing that doesn’t help is that I am nosey! I like to check out what others are reading and sometimes I have to really control my facial expressions when they make eye contact with  me. 

I realize that this is not a positive trait that I possess and that most of these posts deal with my faults but hey, I’m human and part of thinking differently about this begins with me acknowledging my faults. The funny thing is…if any of you handed me a book and asked me to read it, I totally would regardless of the cover. I guess this feeling of mine only occurs with strangers. First impressions and all that. 

If you’d like to include your own confession, just share the link to your post.  Or, if you aren’t quite ready to post your own confession then comments are fine too.

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26 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reader: I’m a Cover Snob”

  1. If I’m going somewhere and I need a book to pass time (say the doctors office) I am always very mindful of what the cover of the book looks like. I don’t want anyone like you judging me–lol!

  2. I must admit there have been books I’ve read that I’ve hidden the cover in public. I guess I have the reputation of being “the book blogger” who takes reading seriously, so I’ve set myself up for this one. You know, the one big hangup I have with books? When the cover is not the original, but a picture of the damn movie. Ugh! Even if I HAD to read a book and the only thing I could find was the movie cover, I wouldn’t buy it!

  3. My name is Rebecca, and I’m a cover snob, too. I love few things more than sitting around waiting to board a plane and looking around smugly as I realize that 90% of the people reading in the gate area are 1) probably only reading because they’re flying and there’s nothing else to do and 2) reading things I consider pure crap.

    It’s the joy of bookish snobbery, and I will be so sad if e-readers take over the world and prevent me from making judgments about people’s book selections.

    Also, there’s a great episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon is sitting on a beach reading a book w/ a pink cover (I think there’s a high heeled shoe on it, too),and the title is “Novel for Women” or something like that. It just hit the stereotypes perfectly.

    So here’s some validation from one cover snob to another!

    1. So true. The airport is the best place to people-watch. The books seen there are always thrillers are bubblegum lit

      So glad I am not alone!

  4. I don’t judge you on what you read (with one SPECIFIC exception, which I will not tell), but I will judge the book on the cover. I don’t have a problem with pink or shoes or any of that, but I will immediately assume a crappy cover means a crappy book- this rarely happens so I’m usually safe. There is a specific look that small press and self published books have and those are the ones that I assume aren’t any good. But I think I can pretty honestly say I wouldn’t judge the person reading it.

    What do you think of covers like the mystery I just read? (The Missing Ink) I just read two Nora Roberts romances with wedding dresses on the cover, and I can SEE YOUR GRIMACE FROM HERE. xxoo

  5. I totally agree with everything you said. In fact, I think I have totally agreed with everything you have said in every confession post so far! You might as well just co-sign my name! :–)

  6. I have to watch my facial expressions sometimes too. LOL I don’t really care what others are reading when it comes right down to it (I’m just happy the person is reading!), but certain covers do turn me off immediately while others pique my interest. I’ve been known to roll my eyes at the sight of some covers. 🙂

    I posted my own topic this week, but I’m not really sure it fits under Confessions of a Reader. It’s a bit of a stretch.

  7. I’ve said that I’ll rarely buy a book because of its cover, but I’ll AVOID one because of it!

    I don’t technically judge other people by the covers of the books they read, but if it looks to be a title/author/genre that I don’t care for, then I might, although I’ll definitely cut the reader some slack if I know her. And I do have some books I won’t read away from home, so I can avoid possibly being judged myself!

    1. It’s funny. I covered Drood with a book cover when I was reading it because I didn’t want to get it all messed up since I had removed the dust jacket. I can’t tell you how many times I had to remove the cover to prove to someone that I was not reading questionable material.

      Now with New Moon, I just don’t take it out. It’s pure entertainment and I know it.

  8. I do judge too! I judge books by their cover, and although I try really hard not to, I sometimes (often?) judge people I don’t know by what they’re reading. It’s even more ironic for the fact that I’m sometimes the one who reads a “pink” book or one with a pair of shoes on the cover! But judging is such a fun way to spend time when you’re stuck in the subway or on the bus with so many people!

    By the way, I just discovered your blog through Literary Feline, and I love it! 😀

    1. A few people have mentioned the need to check people out while waiting for transportation. I’m glad I am not alone in the cover snob category. Thanks for coming by. I hope you visit often!

  9. Generally if I see people with a book I’m happy they are reading. But I have to admit that often enough if it’s a chick-lit book or a book by certain authors I make a sort of mental note about it. But the books that really make me fllinch and which I won’t carry are books with a logo on the front that says “Oprah recommends this book” or “Oprah book”. I don’t want people thinking I’m reading a book because Oprah picked it and I know plenty of people think that way when they see that logo on the cover!

  10. I am totally with you on this! Some books I just write off because of the cover art! Sad, but true. However, I did read one book that I would have never read because of the cover (the first book of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series) only because a friend “forced” me too and it was fantastic. I then read the rest of the series (until I ran out of books) and always hated the cover art on all of them.

    Great post!

  11. Another cover snob here, but in a different way. I will not keep a book on my shelves that has a cover I loathe. If I like to read a title with a hideous cover, I won’t purchase, will just borrow from the library. Or if I do purchase (usually from yard sales or book fairs, used), will give away after I’ve read them. I don’t mind, however, what other people are reading. I love checking out what they read, too, in public, but only to see if we share the same taste in books or not. I don’t really think any less of a person who reads books that I consider crappy.

  12. I am so on the same page. I belong to a reading group that reads classics. Every time we select a book I go on line and examine the cover choices and then I order the ‘right’ one at my local independent bookstore.
    Of course and then I judge what editions my fellow club memebers have selected and weigh their remarks against their covers.
    Oh well. If you want to be taken seriously make better cover choices.

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