Judge books by their covers
That's what they want you to do
I was at a bookstore the other day looking for something to read.
Yes, this is about as modern as going to the bank.
I still do that too. It’s fun to have an underpaid stranger look at my financial life know all about my ‘winning’ choices.
With both books and banking, I like showing up in person to get judged.
There’s nothing better than being judged. That’s why we judge all the time.
There are those who say we should’t judge each other. The cliche they use ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ was a huge part of my upbringing. It became a part of my core values.
But this is a problem.
Have you been to a bookstore lately?
Or worse, how many titles are there on Amazon?
The answer is simple - more.
And, if you were to go to the washroom and come back to this post, the answer would be very simple as there are even more books than a moment ago. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
How to know what to read?
It happens to many of us.
While it is useful to look more deeply into things before passing judgement, quick judgement is essential these days.
When I pick up a book to read, the first thing I do is judge the cover.
Is this for me?
Does this look like me?
The notion that this action is impossible, or a least bad form, or that I shouldn’t be judging based on the cover, is an insult to the graphic design industry.
Is the book covered in lace? Pastel colours? Does it describe how to make beautiful floral arrangements, quilts or dresses?
This book’s likely not for me. Unless I look a little more closely at the cover and discover that beyond the lacy graphics and soft pastel pinks and find that it’s a manuel for removing tree stumps with D.I.Y. pipe bombs, it can stay there.
Sure, I could stetch myself, enter the world of others to create some empathy. It might be ‘good for me’. I had a person in my life once who thought that reading something like that might be ‘good for me’. It was my grade 11 English teacher. She made us read The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawerance. It was about an old, dying woman who was losing her marbles.
That book was good for me. I hated it so much that I never wanted to read again. It almost cured me of reading for ever. Unfortunately, despite Ms. McMillian’s best efforts, I still have a nasty reading habbit.
Now I tend to avoid books with the words “Margaret” and “Lawerence” on the cover.
Margaret Attwood? Nope. Theres a Margaret there.
Lawerence Hill? Nope. Another Lawerence.
Now, if the book says Michael Ondojete or Christopher Moore on the cover, I’ll likely pick it up.
If it has odd creatures, doodle stylings, things that look remotely like tattos or grafitti, or something bold or funny?
It’s call ing me
Bold type and bold colours?
I pick up those books.
The cover of a book should have some relation to the contents.
So, judge books by their covers. It makes life more efficient.
And, every now and then, if you have time, take a closer look. You might learn a little something from that book that doesn’t really speak to you