best dressed award

judge book cover

I enjoy judging books by their covers.  I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I’ve made a game out of my sneaky hobby.  The game works something like this: enter bookshop, pick 5 or 6 books with appealing covers, guess which one will be the most satisfying, and then read the first chapter of each book. Win the game by purchasing the book you originally judged to be the most enjoyable.


Books sometimes take a couple chapters to really hit their stride (just like dating, right?), but that’s not what this game is about.  I’ll read reviews and give the less-well-dressed novels a chance when I order them on Amazon.

The books above are the contenders for this week.  Which cover do you like the best?


19 thoughts on “best dressed award

  1. None of the covers excite me, perhaps the shoes; the name “Piper” is sexy and I hope it is a woman’s name. It would not be sexy if the author were a man. The name is just too light on the ear.

    I’ve never had to wait for a book to give me enticement until the second chapter. D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, probably a great cover, didn’t really interest me until nearly the end and then it picked up immensely.

    I typically will only read the most interesting copy of a book like War and Peace. I love the newsprint versions of books printed by Vintage, Penguin, and others because of the way they feel in my hands. I hate the heavier, white stock of paper, but this hasn’t stopped me from buying books that appeal to me in other ways. For years I would pass the black and white hard cover of Being and Time and finally read it because of the graphic design. I am glad I did. It changed my life. I loved the feel of Finnegans Wake, but I didn’t understand it until page 338. I bought Being and Nothingness too, in part, because of how it felt.

    I’d be curious to know if you like the covers of my books. I designed and photographed all of them. See:






      • I’ve been writing since I was a little boy. The question of which novel is my favorite, only the blue one is an attempt at writing a novel, so I guess it would have to be that one. I am glad you like the blue cover. Each book at the time was my favorite.

  2. I know Sarah & I do the same thing. We go into a bookstore and just nerd out over cover designs. So pretty!!! I really like “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic” the cover is pretty AND it sounds fascinating.
    -Kaitlyn 🙂

  3. i just read the cuckoo’s calling a couple of weeks ago! it was the first mystery book i’ve read in awhile and i really liked it. 🙂 i’ll take a look at your other choices because i am always looking for new books to read!

  4. This is too weird, in a good way 😉 I have done the same thing. In fact, I try to make it a point to read at least one book a month in this way (with a twist). I don’t even read the 1st chapter. I judge solely upon the cover art, title, and font. Whatever strikes an inner chord, I pick it up and read it. The curiosity of not knowing what’s coming makes it a much more interesting story. I did this recently with the book ‘Beautiful Ruins’ and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who comes up with these games 😉 By the way, I am intrigued by the book ‘Wonder’. I might have to check that one out next …

    • dave! where have you been? i’ve missed you on the blogosphere. and not even read the first chapter? that’s so risky –how often do you get home and experience buyers remorse? also, i’m looking up beautiful ruins now 🙂

  5. 😀 I mostly pick books by their covers ha ha ha bad habit but I can’t get rid of it 😀 The At last cover is my winner out of those 5. Not including The cuckoo’s calling because I already read it…although this one I didn’t chose by the cover but by the author. 🙂

  6. I totally do this, too! I am going to have to go with Wonder, not only because the cover is beautiful but because the book is SO good! Seriously, it needs to be read in every fifth grade/middle school class. It is amazing!

  7. i like the covers for At Last (the floral design is just so pretty!) and The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. It’s not always about the wow factor, sometimes i like simple and clean covers

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