can you judge a book by it's cover?

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As I begin to read more mid-20th Century British novels, I find it's a fairly safe bet that if the publisher has seen fit to use a painting or drawing by Eric Ravilious or David Jones or (even) Stanley Spencer on the front, I'll be enjoyign the contents.

Yes, they've got me. I'm not proud.

Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 08:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Mm, I love Eric Ravilious (mostly because I'm a sad old provincial who gets a thrill out of paintings of the South Downs, I suspect.)

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 08:55 (fourteen years ago) link

That show at the IWM was so extraordinarily good. The little-used art galleries on the second floor there are particular favourite spot of mine.

Tim (Tim), Tuesday, 9 August 2005 08:58 (fourteen years ago) link

I really wish I could find a picture of the old paperback edition I have of Nabokov's "Glory," for this thread.

Basically after the success of Lolita, publishers started trying to market all of N's novels like they were trashy romances.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 03:16 (fourteen years ago) link

I've always kinda liked the cover to this edition of Barthelme's 60 Stories, since, to me, it looks like the cover of a cheesy romance when it's just about anything but:

would you please stop screaming? (pr00de), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 07:58 (fourteen years ago) link

The gold's really shiny in person, too.

would you please stop screaming? (pr00de), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 07:59 (fourteen years ago) link

Ha! That's fantastic.

My girlfriend actually would not read the movie edition (the only copy available at the local B&N at the time) of "Possession" that I got her as a gift, even though she really wanted to read it, and borrowed another copy instead.

I was not insulted, however, because I completely understood.

Hurting (Hurting), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 15:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Wow, it's like Danielle Bart-Steelme.

Archel (Archel), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 15:11 (fourteen years ago) link

My favourite Barthelme cover (by Edward Gorey!)

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 August 2005 15:53 (fourteen years ago) link

[spam deleted]

spammer, Monday, 15 August 2005 09:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Viagra makes some good points there.

Here's one book I would judge by its cover:

Because it really is a slightly dated seventies story.

I'm a sucker for any books with pictures of ships on the cover.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Monday, 15 August 2005 09:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Olde-style writing, like 17th century pamphlets, you know the kind of thing, completely sucks me in every time.

Markelby (Mark C), Monday, 15 August 2005 16:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Nipper that is marvellous!

tom west (thomp), Monday, 15 August 2005 18:01 (fourteen years ago) link

haha Sam Waterston and (is it?) Jenny Agutter.

jed_ (jed), Monday, 15 August 2005 21:42 (fourteen years ago) link


[p o k e r s p a m], Tuesday, 16 August 2005 01:52 (fourteen years ago) link

It is Jed. From the Major Motion Picture! of which I have never heard. The interesting thing (for me) about this book as an object is that the cover really does tell you a lot about this book. There's nothing like a cheap Fontana paperback with a photographed cover (which I have also badly photographed, how meta is that?) to conjure up images of the seventies, and that's exactly what this book is like. The further away I get from this book, the more I like it.

Beryl Bainbridge is great.

My current favourite cover in our house, though, is this one:

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 06:18 (fourteen years ago) link

For me, as a bookseller, it's vital to be able to judge some things about a book by its cover. I haven't time to read the back of everything to figure out if it's crime or non-fiction, or romance, or My Kind Of Book (see above). If the cover doesn't tell me immediately, I get a bit cross.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 06:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Similarly, I had a film tie-in edition of The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, which I got rid of because I couldn't stand Kris Kristofferson's hairy visage any more. But now I quite miss it.

Especially compared with some generic wishy-washy cover like this one:

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 07:33 (fourteen years ago) link

Sadly I can't find my Kris cover online anywhere, either :(

I wish I was an ILB moderator, then I could remove the extraneous apostrophe from the thread title; it gives me pain every time I look at it. [Obsessiveness such as this is a very good reason why I shouldn't be a moderator, obv.]

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 11:22 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm sure if you ask Chris very nicely, he would do it for you.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 13:08 (fourteen years ago) link


jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:05 (fourteen years ago) link

He's not gonna do it, I don't think, not even for Archel. If nothing else, it would ruin the joke he made about it upthread.

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:07 (fourteen years ago) link

No, it's not a fair request. Now if I had started the thread myself and was tormented my my own mistake... but no reason why other people should be edited just because I'm a freak.

Archel (Archel), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 14:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Let's start another thread, a perfect thread, where there'll be no war and no typoes and no traffic accidents...

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

And this thread will be another board, pastoral and idyllic, and we'll call it I Love Film.

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 15:05 (fourteen years ago) link

"on" another board. I guess I'm still posting in the same old world until we get that other thread created.

k/l (Ken L), Tuesday, 16 August 2005 15:06 (fourteen years ago) link


online casino, Thursday, 18 August 2005 01:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I think it's interesting the way the same books are marketed differently in the UK and the US. When I go into a bookshop in the States, my eye is drawn to not a single cover that looks at all interesting. Whereas in Waterstone's or whatever I can barely make it past the special offers table. Obviously it's just a marketing style I'm used to, but I can't identify what it might consist of.

Sam (chirombo), Thursday, 18 August 2005 12:33 (fourteen years ago) link

[le spam]

pacific poker bonus, Saturday, 20 August 2005 21:50 (fourteen years ago) link

[more spam.]

on line texas holdem poker, Sunday, 21 August 2005 06:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Uh, I think I just made it so that you have to be a registered user to post to this thread. My apologies to those of you who are not registered users. No apologies to the spammers.

Casuistry (Chris P), Sunday, 21 August 2005 23:55 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...
seven years pass...

Welcome to the Bold and Blocky Instagram Era of Book Covers

mookieproof, Thursday, 31 January 2019 20:29 (one year ago) link

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