two and two: reading reasoning?

So recently you've been browsing Twitter and Tumblr, clicking away, and adding books to your ever-increasing TBR list on Goodreads. Liking a book isn't mathematical, but there is definitely a certain something that stands out to make you add the book to your list. What are two qualities about a book (anything from the cover to the typography or a random sentence you flip to skimming over it in a store) will make you pick it up? Similarly, what two things will make you put a book back on the shelf?

This is as close to math as I'll get, but the equations will be interesting to see as they vary from person to person!

I'll give it a go:
For picking up, it will definitely be cover and the initial first couple sentences of the book (especially if I've never read a book by that author before). If I like the cover enough to pick it up then I'll read the first chapter, generally, to see what I think. This is the reason that it took me so long to buy (then read, but not to love - that was immediate) Anna and the French Kiss - that cover paired with that title just threw me off every single time. But at BEA, it's why I picked up Summer and Bird.


Due to the increasing trend of faceless girls (many of Sarah Dessen's books suffer from this phenomenon) and girls in dresses (simply incalculable), I'm almost more hesitant to pick a book up if I see it fitting into one of these categories. This isn't to say that I don't love these books or their covers, because that's simply not true and some are beautifully designed (Lizzie Bromley does a consistently amazing job in this), and some of the dresses directly connect to the plot. Yet seeing that kind of female archetype puts me in a place to wonder why such a strong, descriptive female character has to be featured in a dress on the cover for marketing purposes in order to do well.


What do you think?                            

5 comments on "two and two: reading reasoning?"

Stephsco wrote: Mon Jun 25, 01:09:00 PM

I am drawn to pretty covers, but I stil tend to read reviews first (if possible; I understand at ALA you may not have the time or reviews are not yet available). My tastes change, so it would need to be a book of interest to me, or a very unique premise that intrigues me. I love the cover of Summer and Bird and have no idea what it's about! I would read the back cover and a few pages to be sure it hooked me.

I agree with you, I'm over the pretty dress cover craze, even though some of the covers are gorgeous. It needs to fit the story; historical or something to do with royalty, by all means.

Alissa wrote: Mon Jun 25, 01:35:00 PM

As much as I judge books by their covers, I also judge by titles. For example, you've got that pic of Summer and Bird up there - based on its cover, I'd pick it up. But if all I had was the title, I'd probably skip over it. ..Granted, the title judging is really only applicable to my online book browsing/shopping.

For covers, people and faces easily break the spell for me. I'm much more drawn to clean lines and typography.

Natalie wrote: Tue Jun 26, 09:03:00 AM

As much as I hate to admit it the cover is always one of the first thing that will make me pick up a book. The second thing is usually the synopsis....and then I usually turn to Goodreads to check out a couple of positive and negative reviews to gauge what other people have thought of the book. Strangely, I never read a chapter of the book before I buy it...although that is probably a really good strategy! I should definitely try it sometime hah!

We Heart YA wrote: Tue Jun 26, 02:19:00 PM

Yes yes and yes. Your thoughts on covers echo ours entirely. (And SUMMER AND BIRD looks gorgeous!)

We rely pretty heavily on back cover blurbs and (assuming we have access to them) reviews/word of mouth. There are just SO many good books out there, and we want to be sure we're investing our time wisely. (Well, Sarah reads so fast that she can be less careful with that. >P)

Jenny wrote: Tue Jun 26, 06:39:00 PM

Interesting topic! The cover and title is definitely what makes me pick up a book but the synopsis is what determines whether I'll read it. There are a lot of "girls in beautiful dresses" covers but that doesn't really stop me from picking it up...yet. It might someday. ;)

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