Opinion: book covers determine my purchases

There are many different tastes out there. Some people like super detailed covers, some people like very simplistic covers, and some people probably don’t care all that much. But I think we can all agree that a pretty cover (whatever pretty means to you) grabs our attention quicker than an ugly one.

I guess we all kind of judge books by their covers. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” really only applies to humans. Because I am definitely going to judge a book by its cover, and like the title suggests, book covers sometimes determine wether I buy a book or not.

All this kind of makes me sound like a horrible person, because it seems like I won’t even give the contents a chance, BUT: if I am interested in the story, I’ll buy an e-copy, or I’ll get it from the library. That way I’m still supporting the author.

Does this make me sound kind of vain and petty? Yes, but… I just like having pretty books on my shelves!

Look at the first edition of Throne of Glass for example. It just doesn’t fit the contents at all! Even the tiny dagger on the girl’s arm isn’t enough to convince me this book is about a badass assassin. Compare it to the current cover, and you’ll probably see my point lol. New edition Celaena means business.

book covers of throne of glass editions

And can we also talk about the original UK cover for Twilight? Like, what even IS that?! I honestly can’t imagine walking into a book store, seeing that, and thinking: “wow, that book looks so appealing, let me go ahead and pick it up!” Apparently it did not affect sales too much in the UK, because Twilight sold around 2.3 million copies after it first came out, and the entire saga has sold over 8 million copies. Yes, I looked that up.

book covers of twilight editions

Alternatively, pretty book covers sell

How often have you bought a book because the cover looked good? Cover buys are totally a thing, and honestly there’s nothing wrong with that. I have 100% bought books based on their cover, or at least picked it up at the bookstore because the cover intrigued me.


– Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
– Cinder by Marissa Meyer
– The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
– A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
– Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Okay, this list is thankfully short, because I can’t go around and base all my book purchases on covers alone. But I did buy the Throne of Glass books after I realized the new editions exist. Otherwise, I probably would’ve never bought physical copies.

To conclude, pretty books sell, ugly ones deter. At least in my case, haha. Also, the opinions in my post are my own and very subjective, so pls don’t kill me if you like the covers I don’t ∩。• ᵕ •。∩ ♡

Are your book purchases influenced by what the cover looks like?

Leave a Reply