Thursday, September 29, 2005

You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover
The old saying, "you can't judge a book by its cover," is no longer true. I'm not meaning in the figurative sense as in you can't judge people by how they look. I mean the literal definition of basing an opinion of a book on the cover of that book.

I think the saying may have been true, back when covers were all either brown, black, or red leather with words embossed on it. I mean really, how much can you tell by that? Yes, all books used to look alike, and you couldn't judge by how they looked. But boy, you sure can now.

Ever notice how many contemporary books feature variations of photographs or drawings of shoes, feet, or legs? If you haven't paid attention, do so. Next time you're in a bookstore, wander over to the "new paperback fiction" section and you'll be amazed at the foot fetish that seems to have gripped American book designers. Mind you, I blame the advent of so-called "Chick Lit," a publishing craze that needs to die, right now. All these books look, and read, exactly the same. Late 20 or early 30-something women, either never been married or freshly divorced/dumped, wants to change her life/job/city of residence so she takes up yoga/becomes an assistant to a movie star/moves to Milan and hijinks ensues....usually after several hundred changes of clothing. Yawn.

I can and I do judge these books by their covers. I do not want to read any book that features feet or legs on the cover. Nor do I want to read a book that pictures a pencil-skinny woman looking longingly through any shop window, sitting in any cafe or restaurant, or wearing a little black dress and looking in a mirror. I judge those books by their covers. In most cases the plots are as shallow, uninteresting, and preditable as the cover art.

The phrase should have died out with the invention of the "bodice ripper." If you see a cover, any cover, featuring a long-haired, bare chested man grasping a blond vixen who cannot seem to keep her clothes from falling off and you know what you're going to get inside. You don't even need to open the book to know.

Am I too judgemental? Hell yeah, and damned proud of it. Do you have any idea how much money I save by not being books about feet?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a late 20 or 30-somethiong, blind, foot-fetishist, I find your comments offensive. All books should have embossed feet on them. Otherwise you are discriminating against me. And that dog just won't hunt, mister... uh... miss. Whatever.