How much time do you spend looking at Book Covers? This could be at an independent book store, in a small area of a department store, or online. What draws you to certain books or even a genre you don’t read? Does the cover ‘speak’ to you? Do the colors remind you of something or someone special?
What about children? I remember when bookstores had a children’s department. Many time I’ve heard squeals of delight at the sight of certain books. Why? Some of the young kids couldn’t read yet, but saw something on the covers that excited them.
On a recent day, I walked inside our branch library and watched a storyteller hold up a book, and then let each child have a moment to touch the book before passing it on to the next child. Some did and some did not want to turn loose, running their fingers over and over the cover as if mesmerized by either the picture, the colors, or maybe both
I meandered to the reading area. Men and women sat at tables or in soft chairs devouring magazines, periodicals, and different newspapers. Some would stand beside the magazines and stare before picking one up. I did notice the more colorful covers were the first to be read.
Next, I roamed up and down the aisles of books with only the alphabet of the authors in that particular section available and the covers of their books. I found myself pulling some out, looking at the covers, before sliding back in their special place. I began to laugh as I imagined all the books naked. No not really, but wrapped in brown paper bags without a special section or genre, only the author’s name. No bright covers, no illustration to give the reader a hit, and no title. What confusion this would be for the reader. What would this do to advertising for a book publisher, bookstore, and the author? How could a reader and an author connect?
As readers, we need not only to see the book, we need to feel the book and this comes from the cover. As a wonderful author, noted for a long time, or a new author attempting to break into the world of writing and publishing, the cover is the first introduction to the story inside.
May you always see bright, interesting covers on the books you pull down to checkout or purchase. May young readers enjoy the covers of their books with squeals of delight. May books never dress in a brown paper bag or GO NAKED.
How would you feel? Let me know.
Happy Covers. Happy Reading. Happy Writing.