When you pick books to buy, what is more likely to sway you: a good cover or a good plot? When you choose to unhaul books do you sometimes keep bad books if they’re pretty?
I usually plan which books to buy, so this question doesn’t really arise, since 99% of the time, I’ve probably already read said book. I do however, pick and choose which editions to buy and find the one with the prettiest cover if there is more than one. If it’s a question of picking books to add to my TBR, a good cover will certainly make me look twice, but in the end, it is the plot that is the deciding factor. I haven’t unhauled books in several years, but I will absolutely keep a bad book if I like the cover and it looks good on my shelf.
Do you love a book less if the cover is ugly even if the story is good? Do you like covers less if it turns out the story inside isn’t very interesting? Would you rather have a shelf of good stories or beautiful covers?
Not at all! I’m a huge believer in ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and the quality of the story is always the deciding factor in my rating of a book and how much I love having it on my shelves. However, the reverse has definitely proven true on the few occasions where a beautiful cover swayed me into reading a book where the plot simply did not live up to it. This is exactly the reason why I prefer to buy physical copies of only books I’ve already read so I can be assured not only that it’s a good story, but can also wait until a different edition of the book is released if I really dislike the cover. If there is no version of the book I like, I’ll just settle for getting the ebook instead.
I would definitely rather have a shelf full of good stories over ones with just pretty covers. I’m not much into bookstagram or other bookish social media, so I rarely photograph my shelves and such and it doesn’t need to look great for me. In fact, some of my favourite books that I own look rather ordinary as they’re classics and such which usually have generic covers.
What is more important for you when buying a book – cover or plot? Share your thoughts in the comments below!