CAN you judge a book by it's cover?
Okay I put my hand up and admit that I do. I am a magpie for lovely covers. I can't help it and I think a lot of people are the same. Whilst I will be attracted to a pretty cover I will still read the back to see if I think I will like the content. Book covers are important and I think that some publishers miss that. I am sure I talked about this during a top ten Tuesday meme of worst covers. They can attract new readers which is what you want after all.
When I was in my YA phase I got a proof copy of Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. I picked it up because it was so pretty. Whilst I am not the girliest of people it does sometimes come out unexpectedly and this was one of those times. The book was black and shiny with lots of pink. This was one of those times where the pretty cover did not match the content. It was one of the most awful books I have ever read and I think that was the start of my move away from YA (should point out I still read one every now and then). It's not the first time I have made that mistake and it probably won't be the last time either.
Anything by Haruki Murakami. There is just something about those black and white covers. It's true they aren't actually pretty but they always stood out for me and it was those covers that made me pick one up. I fell in love with the author straight away and have since read everything he has written. One of those times where it did work. I am now impatiently waiting for his new book, iq84.
I have listed before covers that were awful and didn't represent the books well. At the top of the list was New York by Edward Rutherfurd. The reason I bring that one up again as it was such a fantastic book and yet I almost didn't give it a second look thanks to the fact that it had a mass market, cheap feel to it. I can't believe I almost missed out on a great read.
So yes, you can judge a book by it's cover but you have to be careful. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and sometimes you could be missing out based on that initial judgement.