Saturday, January 3, 2009
I work at a library and see thousands of books on a daily basis. Personally I am a lover of good literature, and while taste is an issue of sole opinion, I think that I like books of a decent intellectual caliber. Now, I have been told my entire life, through the advice of my parents and other sources of morality, that you cannot judge a book by its cover. While this definitely holds up as an excellent metaphorical reminder for giving every person you meet a fair shake, I am pretty sure that you can actually judge literal books by their covers and determine whether or not your are diving head first into some popcorn drivel. These warning signs should save you from such a mistake.
1)To begin, if the authors name is larger than the title of the book, then you can assume that you dealing with a definite popcorn piece. More than likely it will fall under such a genre as Mystery, Romance, or inspirational. Most of the time they are most readily available in paperback.
2) If it happens that the book is in hard back, then you can except a full sized portrait of the author on the back of the book. You should be extra concerned if the author's name is embossed as well.
3) If you see a series of the authors work and all their title are similar, as in the share the same word in the title, then definitely be wary going into this.
4) Also, blurbs are a good way to know if the content of the book you are about to read is worth the time. Generally, if the best a critic or fellow writer can do is describe the book in a series of adjectives like sexy, passionate, and raw then you may want to try something different. an honest blurb can tell you a lot about the content of a books. For instance, one of my favorite blurbs comes from David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. The blurb said, "If wit were measured in people, then David Sedaris would be Chine. His Talent is that huge." Now that is a blurb by a critic who was really blown away ( I mainly added this because I really like that blurb).
5) As a final precaution, and that is all this is, know that being on the New York Time's Best Seller List is not a a guarantee that the book is any good. Now several best sellers have been, but don't be fooled by this accomplishment waved so proudly above the title. This is like eating Mcdonald's, just because the sign says that over a billion have been sold. Is it good for you to eat at Mcdonald's? That is for you to decided, but the taste of the food is not determined by the amount of hamburgers sold. Books should be no different.
Now, this post is meant for humor's sake only and please don't feel insulted if you are a lover of any of these type of books :)