generally bookish

how to decide which books to buy and the role of a cover – a discussion?


Hoohoo, guys.

One of my closest friends recently asked me “Hey, how much money did you spend on your books?” And let me tell you, I went from fuck to oh shit I don’t want to know to a softly whispered fuck. Long story short, I have been thinking a lot about buying books instead, especially because that friend said “imagine what you could do with that amount of money… imagine how many books you could buy.”

I have been even more thinking after I saw a tweet (which of course I can’t find anymore ugh) where the signs were put in a monthly book buying budget and virgo was in the “yes” category. And truly, when it comes to buying books, I have been in this category for far too many years. It got much, much better ever since I started to buy only books I’m really, really interested to read. That hasn’t always been like that. There were times, where I spent all my money on books and when I say all of it I mean every single euro that didn’t go into food. And I bought books just because I saw them somewhere or they were on sale or because I liked the cover. I became much more selective since then.

Yeah I bought all of these books because I was in a new city and had no friends but let’s not talk about that lol.

stack of shadow and bone books by Leigh Bardugo, with the French cover showing

So. I probably still haven’t got the healthiest book buying behaviour. The thing is, I don’t read the synopsis, not always that is. I have to say it how it is: I’m a cover hoe. I see a pretty cover, I need the pretty cover. Often I’ve seen a book on another blog or on bookstagram so I might know that a person whose taste I trust either liked or disliked it. But in general I go “wow a pretty cover let’s read the synopsis” and then totally forget what was in this synopsis about 30 seconds after.

Funnily enough, I very rarely read books I don’t enjoy. Does that mean I can enjoy everything? Or is it in my case true and the prettiest covers hide the best stories?

What I really want to say is that a pretty cover is what makes me take a closer look. You know how people say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? I’m sorry, but that is at least partial shit. Unless you’re Persephone Books, then it’s cool. But. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely the person to check out a book because of its cover. And if there are different editions of the same book, guess which one I’ll pick? Yeah, the prettiest. Don’t tell me not to judge a book by its cover because I most definitely will. I might judge it differently before and after I read it but I will judge it nevertheless. Covers are so important and I will not be convinced otherwise.

the grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, showing cover of the French editions

So, what initially draws me to a book is the cover. When in the 30 seconds of remembering the synopsis I like that as well, I shall buy a book. Then, of course there’s the question which format I want? The answer is usually a paperback. Hardcovers are expensive and harder to handle. But prettier. Hardcovers are just the prettiest. But I’m still a big fan of paperbacks. Cheaper, weigh less, easier to handle. Also easier to break, oopsie. And, when I think I might like a book but don’t necessarily need it on my shelf, I’m getting the ebook (or when it’s only available as ebook of course).

Out of the books I buy, I think about 85% are cover buys, the rest are recommendations by friends and people who have the same taste in books as me.

My book buying habits are weird but they work well for me, especially when I’m disciplined enough to not buy everything with a pretty cover like once a month.

But tell me about you. How do you decide which books to buy? How much does the cover influence you?

Until next time,

  1. Hi Kat,

    great post – as always. ^^

    Actually, I am a really selective book buyer, mostly because I buy books very rarely (which is due to fiancial reasons, otherwise I’d HOARD them). Plus being very selective in general, that leads to the point that I only tend to buy books whem I’m kind of sure I am going to like them. Either because the synopsis caught me or because a book blogger convinced me (yes, I am looking at you, don’t pretend you’re not guilty) … and then I read the first pages to check and then the book lands on my wish list, and when I buy it months or years later, I totally forgot the synopsis which is fine because I prefer to not know much about a book when starting it.

    But I’d have to lie if I said I wouldn’t care about the cover, because I love great covers and I love hardcovers and I am really picky about the edition I choose so yeah, I feel you. Great covers are awesome. Having pretty books on the shelf, like small juwels … awesome. ^^

    Love, Dana

    1. Hoohoo,
      I wish I had that much discipline but alas, I do not. I actually admire your way of acquiring books.
      Um yeah, I don’t feel guilty at all. Quite the opposite, I’m happy lol.
      deep down, we all love a pretty cover and I will not be told otherwise, so thanks for agreeing there with me 😀

      have a good start into the week :)♄

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