Judging Books By Their Covers Essay

1919 words - 8 pages

Judging Books By Their Covers

In every bookstore across America, people are faced with the tough question of what book should be bought. There are millions of books resting on shelves everywhere but what makes a reader pick up a novel to buy and read? Looking at book covers people can get ideas about what type of book is in their hands. Most books grab their audience by the way that they look on the outside. Many different authors and publishers choose famous works of art or use book reviewer’s comments to grab a specific audience for their book. When children are looking for books, they choose a book because of what is on the cover. Parents can view the cover as appropriate for their ...view middle of the document...

Catcher In The Rye, is a classic example of a book that has its cover as its trademark. The cover of the book is unique with its red background and yellow writing. Both the front and the back of the book are the same with no other writing but the title and the author’s name. There is no description of the book or any reviews on the cover. Nothing stands out to grab the reader’s attention, yet this book is one of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century. Catcher In The Rye is a classic novel. Almost everyone in America has read the tale of Holden Caulfield either in high school or in college. It is a book that has started controversy, which gained itself more publicity, because it was banned in high schools. Since the story is so well known, the cover is not important to the book sales. People buy this book because it is Catcher In The Rye, not because of the cover. It is a book that people will go out of their way to buy. Within two weeks of its release, it was on the New York Times Best Seller List, where it remained for thirty weeks. Because of Salinger’s privacy, he did not want anything about himself or a picture of himself to appear anywhere on the novel. He wanted it plain. The cover of this book is unique to the book. The readers do not expect the cover to be any different than the basic red with yellow writing.

Another classic that has a cover that is distinct is The Great Gatsby. This cover has been studied by many critiques as to what it is trying to portray. Fitzgerald chose the cover before he had even finished the story. He claimed that the art was written into the work. The sad eyes and the lips form a triangle drawing the reader’s eyes to the cover. In one of my English classes, we discussed the eyes as belonging to Daisy. Nick described Daisy’s eyes as being sad, lovely, and bright. Anyone who has read the book knows that Daisy is a depressed, lonely woman. The eyes are not only sad but have a green tear falling from them. Within the eyes are also naked women. Although I have no explanation of who these women are, it could be the jealousy that Tom’s affairs create in Daisy. Although Daisy is beautiful, Tom goes out with other women. Daisy is holding the nakedness of the women in her eyes. Eyes are talked about a couple of times throughout the book. Not only are Daisy’s eyes described but so are the eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg, the eyes which look at the world through glasses but without a face. The eyes are looking over the bright lights of a carnivalistic New York City skyline. Bright lights are another trait of the book. They are especially associated with Gatsby’s house and parties. The carnival of New York City at the bottom of the cover may be Daisy’s eyes looking at the craziness and brightness that went on at Gatsby’s house every weekend of the summer. This book cover draws together many images from the book unlike that of Catcher In The Rye.

I chose the Kurt Vonnegut novel because of its...

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