Judgment Day

Behind the scenes

You can't judge a book by its cover is how the saying goes.

And yet and yet. Booksellers' reps (do they still exist?) visit bookshops (do THEY still exist?) armed wiht just the covers of forthcoming publications and retailers use just these covers to judge what to stock. 

The satirical magazine Private Eye has for years run a book-cover lookalikes section where the corniness and predictability of cover design is savaged. Images like the solitary walker in snow, the gate swinging open, the steam rising from a cup of cofee have been used so often that the target is in fact a very easy one. Presumably enabling customers to judge a book pretty accurately by its cover is exactly the point.

A couple of examples follow. But if unique, stylish, powerful cover art is more to your liking, then you have till 14 July to visit our own The Art of the Dust Jacket exhibition at the Central Library Peterborough.