Judge A Book & Pick It Up

If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it? I probably would. I’m an out and out Harry Potter fan (yeah, another one of those crazies who love make-believe). I love reading about goblins and pixies, gnomes and werewolves, evil sorcerers and witches with bubbling cauldrons, deep forests and looming grey clouds. For me a book is good or bad by what it does to me. I don’t care much for any write-up that buckles me down to reality too tight. If it makes me come to terms with the sad miseries and woes of star-crossed lovers, diseased dreamers and oppressed paupers, I develop a deep dislike for the work and the author. By this I don’t mean to convey that I like shallow write-ups better than deep long-wound stories. On the contrary. I want fiction to pull me in – mind, body and soul – and to set me free, let me fly to an alternate reality. A few touchy moments and a little bit of sentimentality are alright, even appreciated sometimes if they don’t drag on. But overall, I believe stories should make readers escape their mundane realities, like a  hundred helium balloons tied to readers’ arms. When I look at the cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (one of my favourite books), I see a splash of colours, a majestic red, a touch of gold, some icy blue, deep green and purple, and then some grey, black and white thrown about here and there. As I read what I’ve just written, it strikes me that these aren’t the kind of colours that are likely to go well with each other at all. But funnily enough, they do. Then there’s a huge commotion going on on the cover, with the 3 lead characters getting thrown about, trying to reach out for something, bruises on their skins, harrowed expressions, battling against a treasure of sorts, thousands of gold coins and golden goblets and jugs and gems scattered around parts of an icy-blue suit of armour; a beige-ish stone arc behind the characters, a lavaic orange smudging into the royal red to make for a background with personality, a goblin’s ear sticking out from somewhere, with a sword in its left hand, the right clinging to HP’s shoulder…


Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Not to forget, the black borders around the colourful picture, with grey and white font providing the eyes with some respite… WHEW! It’s a medley of colour, a story in itself, and while it overwhelms me, assaulting my senses, it most certainly makes me want to flip a few pages. And that’s that! The cover page has done its job! It’s made me want to lift the book of the shelf and browse a little. Now that it’s in my house, it looks at me every now and then, in a bid to catch my eye, and every few weeks it manages to pull me towards it, makes me browse through a few pages. 20140327_143754 Another angle to this is that a few times I’ve been done in by beautiful cover-pages. Every now and then a brilliant cover-page lures me in, hypnotizes me and urges me to make a purchase coupled only by the brief summary given at the back of the book. I’d like to believe I’ve become wiser with time and experience, so I make it a point to skim through the book before buying it – more so if the cover is too attractive – but even so, a mediocre book with a very attractive cover is often more likely to make its way into my collection than a brilliant book with a boring front…


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