Do you judge a book by its cover?

Of course--we all do. We're agents of a society built on consumption, and we've been trained since birth to use branding and product packaging to inform our purchases. A lot of this happens without us even thinking about it.

And publishers study these choices we make and design their book covers accordingly. Font, color, contrast, texture, word choice, cover dimensions, and graphics are all adjusted to appeal to a specific kind of reader.

So say there's some book with a white cover and black lettering, thick cursive font with visible brushstrokes, the word "fierce" somewhere in the title, a title set diagonally, an image of a kiss imprinted with red or pink lipstick, and a prominent review from Elle that says something like "Compulsively readable." That one book cover is loaded with cultural symbols so I can judge that book and choose to overlook it in literally fractions of a second. It happens so fast I don't even consciously recognize that I'm passing on the book.

/r/books Thread