Choosing a Its Cover

According to a few distinguished members of the library community, they don't tell you in library school that you WILL occasionally choose a book by its cover, despite what the song says.

If you've had that experience, either choosing a book to read for your TBR pile or a book to add to your library's collection BASED ON ITS COVER, please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!


I wrote a readers advisory blog post about this about a month ago - you can check it out here:


And I gave a presentation on how to recommend books based on their covers.

Douglas Coupland's Shampoo Planet is a book I checked out and eventually bought for its cover--the one with the guy's head, not the version with the shopping cart.

We do this at least once a year when we receive a visit from a wholesaler's rep, bringing boxes of nonfiction book covers that we use to select books for purchase. In most cases all we know about the book is the subject, and maybe something about the publisher's reputation. It's convenient but I am not sure it amounts to due diligence. Do many other libraries do this?

It was a common practice "back in the day" for reps to visit public libraries with boxes or bags of book covers and we bought many a book that way. Often they were newer volumes of sets we had and there were lots of titles from small publishers.

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