Covered in Glory
A book cover begins to invade the territorial head space of the reader with an “idea” of a book even before the book in question has been opened, let alone read.
Whether or not the idea is evolved with any accuracy, it attaches a value to the book – of atmospheric direction, nuance or credibility – that transforms the ink and paper artefact into an aesthetic fetish, an artistic totem, an object of reverie to be adored.
Humans worship books as if worshipping idols.
Discovered in Glory
Some book covers cast an enigmatic appeal over the interests of the prospective reader that compels them to make a purchase of the book even prior to knowing what it’s about, what it contains and what it stands for.
Such a book cover talks to you in a language that only you, it seems, can understand. It forces you to abandon logic in favour of an instinctive desire to make the purchase, somehow confident that the decision to buy is destined to be a good one.
Here are several examples from my own personal history of book covers that, between the ages of maybe six and fifteen, prompted me to buy the books they refer to, without knowing anything about them or the authors who wrote them (with the exception of Conan the Adventurer. I already had some familiarity with Conan through the comic book medium).
#1 Monsters and Mysterious Beasts
#2 The Quest for Tanelorn
#3 Conan the Adventurer
#4 Doctor Rat
#5 The October Country
#6The Earthsea Quartet