Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm judging this book by its cover.

Ok, this is just to prove to myself that I can write a blog and keep it under 500 words.

I'm probably wrong about this, but I don't think I have ever purchased a book just based on the cover. This statement excludes my Phil Farmer collection where I make it a point of buying a book because it has cover art that I don't have, even if I already have a dozen editions of the book. I'm talking about buying a book that I know nothing about, just because I like the cover.

I can't explain why, but I love the cover J.K. Potter did for the Subterranean Press edition of Last Call by Tim Powers. Unfortunately it is part of a trilogy, the books are $75 each and I have never read anything by Mr. Powers. So it seems unlike that I would buy the book, but I just think the cover is fantastic.

Have you ever bought a totally unknown book based just on the cover art?

5 comments:

Win Scott Eckert said...

Mike, not really answering your question about ever buying a book based on the cover (I'm sure I have done it!), but you should really read Tim Powers' THE ANUBIS GATES. Highly recommended.

Mike said...

Thanks Win. I just check my local library and they don't have it. So I have added Tim Powers to my long list of authors to look for when book hunting.

Win Scott Eckert said...

Mike, I thought of one... when I was a kid I used to buy books more based on covers, because I wasn't sure what I liked. Well, I read Phil Farmer's DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE in 1975, and it must have been about two years later when I saw the Del Rey edition of his TIME'S LAST GIFT in the bookstore. I was always attracted to the covers Darrell K. Sweet was doing for Del Rey back then, mainly the Heinlein "juveniles." I really liked the cover to TLG (still do) and I'm sure that influenced my decision to pick it up (in addition to being a book by the same guy who did the Doc book, of course. ;-)

CPC said...

Perhaps the more important question is 'Do we ever not buy a book because of its cover?' I think there's a good chance we can all answer yes to that.

Dennis E. Power said...

To answer your question and also discuss Tim Powers, I should say that I bought my first Tim Powers books based on the cover. This was The Drawing of the Dark which from the cover which showed an older man fighting against a winged demon with a flaming rapier and parrying knife.
The top blurb was about Merlin calling Arthur back.

Once I got into the book I found out that it was not simply about King Arthur returning but was a many layered historical fantasy. Having picked this book up for its cover, led me to discover the wonderful talent of Tim Powers.