This week’s random question asks: Have you ever chosen a book, mostly because of its cover art, and then regretted it because the content didn’t live up to your expectations?
There’s the old adage that we should never judge a book by its cover. But it’s something that I know I do. In my college days, I learned that magazines have six seconds to get someone to pick them up and/or purchase them on impulse. I think the same thing is true for books.
I’ve judged a lot of books worthy of my attention and reading time by their cover over the years. And many times this pays off. And then, there are others where it did not.
One that I recall from my early days was Robert A. Heinlein’s To Sail Beyond the Sunset. In my early days of exploring the big names of science fiction, Heinlein loomed large out there. Not having the Internet, I wasn’t quite sure where to start so I picked up To Sail Beyond the Sunset based solely on its cover art. I will say that I was a kid in high school at the time and that might explain why this cover appealed to me.
What I didn’t know was this was a later period Heinlein in which he was pulling together various stories and universes — and that maybe reading those first might make the book make a lot more sense. I was confused by a lot of the book and its mention of plot threads and characters — to the point I gave up reading it and put it on the shelf.