Day 2 of Armchair BEA and it’s all about book aesthetics! (Read my introduction post here! Also, header image by the awesome Natalie Patalie!) Does the cover impact your choice of books? As a visual person, I absolutely fall into the category of judging a book by it’s cover. Case in point: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
I truly didn’t care if the story was good or not because the book itself is just so pretty. I absolutely adore it’s design. (Luckily, it’s also quite a good read!) I definitely think the look of a book impacts interest in it. When browsing a bookstore, if I don’t have a specific book in mind, I go entirely by the cover and design. If a book strikes my fancy visually, I’ll pick it up and read the blurb about it. If I like the blurb, there’s a decent chance I’ll buy it!
Obviously, aesthetics play an even bigger part in comics and graphic novels. Being a media that is carried as much by the visuals as the story, I have to like the art if I’m going to consider reading it. It’s one of the reasons I really don’t like it when the covers of trade volumes have different art than the inside. If I fall in love with the cover art style and the whole comic is completely different, that can be frustrating.
One of the biggest struggles I have when it comes to book covers is I almost always end up liking foreign versions better than the U.S. versions. For example, V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy:
On the left are the U.S. and on the right are the U.K. – I love the U.K. ones so much more! Blargh! And this happens all the time for me. One of the few instances where this wasn’t the case was the original Scholastic U.S. covers for the Harry Potter series; I liked the U.S. illustrations much more than the U.K. editions.
For me, I think the visuals of books have the biggest impact when I’m shopping in store for a book, as I mentioned above. And I do that rarely. Most of my book shopping is done via Amazon, purchasing books on my Goodreads TBR list. Visuals still play a part, but definitely a smaller one when I look at books online, even on Goodreads. I tend to go by the blurbs to see what the story is about versus being drawn in by the cover. So while I think design is still important, it becomes a lot less important to me in a e-book setting.
What are your thoughts about book aesthetics? Do they have a big impact on you?