Monday, August 16, 2010

Judging this book by its cover paid off

So how do you choose what you'll read next? Now, I'm not talking about the sure thing - a favorite author you've been reading for years, or that bestseller you've been waiting for weeks to open. That's too easy.

I'm talking about those days when you're a bit at loose ends, and you find yourself either at the library or the bookstore, trying to decide what next to place on your nightstand. Maybe you've finished all your favorites; maybe you're just in the mood to try something new. How do you decide?

I have to admit - the other day, I most definitely judged a book by its cover. Most of the time, I'm probably like you. I have my favorite authors, my favorite topics, and I tend to get a little set in my ways. But this past weekend, I was trolling the aisles at the local bookstore, and ... I just couldn't decide. I knew I wanted a mystery, but I really wasn't in the mood for anything in particular. But I wasn't not in the mood for anything in particular, if that makes sense.

So I just walked slowly, taking my time, studying all the titles. One book was a little askew, and the sky-blue spine caught my eye. I picked it up. The title was "A Timely Vision," and the authors were Joyce and Jim Lavene. Hmmm. I'd never read anything by them before. But the book cover was so ...beguiling. In the forefront were the reeds of a sandy bluff, and in the background, atop a hill, was a Victorian mansion. In the distance was a deep blue ocean, touching a nearly cloudless sky. And down by the authors' names, in front, nearly buried in the sand, was a woman's diamond watch.

I couldn't stop looking at it. Maybe because it looked so cool and comfortable, and it was a steamy, sticky 89 degrees outside the bookstore doors. Or maybe it's because I've always loved Victorians. Or heck, maybe it was just a pretty watch.

Whatever the reason, I read the first page. Then the second. By the third, I knew I'd buy the book, and by the end of the first chapter I knew I'd be looking to find out a little more about the authors. (You can, too, at

I know, not very scientific, right? But in this case, it paid off. I love finding new authors, and it was a great read. Sometimes, you just have to go by instinct.

1 comment:

  1. I do pick up books based on their cover then I read the jacket copy before I decide. Sometimes, I don't bother reading the first page before I buy it. However, I've learned that's not always a good move.

    Another thing that will get me to pick a book off the table or shelf is if it mentions the author is a debut author. I'll almost always read those book covers--because I want to be a debut author sooner rather than later--and hope readers will give me that same chance.