Aw, Grow Up Will Ya?


Binding Judgment

Does it ever make sense to judge a book by its cover — literally or metaphorically? Tell us about a time you did, and whether that was a good decision or not.

The simple response to this daily prompt is MATURITY. With a little hope and a lot of life-lesson under ones belt, it stands to reason these petty, ridiculous notions soften, if not fade away with age. Another of those oxymoron-ish conundrums about life in general.

“Never judge a book by its cover” (to include things beyond books) and “You’ve got exactly 4.3 seconds to impress people before they like or write you off” do not compute if we are all that human and born this way. They contradict.

What we are is brainwashed into thinking ‘everyone’ thinks this way – because the person who came up with this blanket statement does. No, other logical reason. It isn’t ‘human’ to be mean, vindictive, conniving, underhanded, deceitful, caustic, or blunt, and we certainly can’t say being judgmental is in our genes.

We’re taught these things.

As children we go along for the ride because, well, because we’re immature and don’t know any better.

“My mommy says …” and that’s it for logic.

With people, I was the one being judged, juried, and condemned at first glance. As I aged, I’d meet up with some old acquaintances who would boldly, unthinkingly, and crassly remark: “I used to think you were a bitch, but you’re really nice!” or “I used to think you were really shy, but you’re not!” and “I used to think you were really dull, but you’re actually funny as hell!”

To which I always smiled graciously while thinking, “You upset me back in the day, and now I know why.”

I’m a relatively good judge of character, and unless the eyes give away the fact of their underlying tendencies toward all things evil, bad, or wrong, or there’s something off about ones aura, I don’t judge. I smile, make eye contact, strike up chit-chat conversations, etc. Tall, thin, fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, dorky, sophisticated … it doesn’t matter. Of course, it always matters to them. If they don’t think I ‘fit in’ with their ideals, philosophy, or way of life, I’m doomed to be ostracized by them and their ilk.

Not that I care at my age. Their immature thinking processes don’t influence my behavior.

As for books … sigh. Just a few days ago, I thought my mind-set had changed. I believed I judge books by their cover, but upon further inward thought, I realize how untrue this really is for me. For as long as I can remember, I’d seek out works of interest, remove them from the library or store shelf, and instantly turn the book Asian-style over to read the blurb on the back.

THEN I’d graze over the cover, and in the Romance category of things, the cover DOES tend to take on new meaning when it comes to … how shall we say … influence on the reader. I would agree, too, with some of the bloggers today, that it is these enticing images that help influence sales. And, at the same time, I agree that in the digital age of hand-held devices, the cover becomes moot.

Covers of novels (of the Romance variety anyway) are not something I use to determine the worth of a book or its author. For me, it is meant as a bonus. A freebie tossed into the mix. I not only get to read something of interest and that enchants me, but I also get to glimpse the delicious guy gracing the cover.

Not that this is always the case, either. I’ve read as many Romance novels with quaint covers, bland covers with a single color and words, and like others have brought up in their blogs, no interest whatsoever in a cover if I’m using ePub online to read. Cover? There’s a cover? Ah, yes. There it is. Another torso. Nice. Me? I read the blurb, downloaded the free sample, and am trying to decide if I want to buy the whole thing now. Cover shmover.

Trying to promote and push your own Indie endeavor on various social media sites is what makes or breaks you chances at reaching an audience. Now, suddenly, the cover becomes all the more important.

Just yesterday, while scanning some of the many Groups I’ve joined at Facebook, with post after post revolving around ‘Read My Book’ – a majority of the Romance covers include the cut off head of a muscular dude with ripped abs. It goes with the territory anymore, and for the lucky ones who can afford such eye candy enticements, hurray for you.

Worse, the comments under some of these posts went along these lines: “Wow! He’s hot! I can’t wait to read this!”

Which brings me right back around to my initial statement about maturity.


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About RaineBalkera

Aspiring Author of Romance
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9 Responses to Aw, Grow Up Will Ya?

  1. Doobster418 says:

    I am not a reader of romance novels and I don’t judge books by their cover or blogs by the images in them. If I did, I would have skipped right over this, as a headless guy with washboard abs does nothing for me.

    However, something you wrote resonated with me. You wrote, “You’ve got exactly 4.3 seconds to impress people before they like or write you off.” That is so true and so sad. People no longer take time to think about things or to even try to understand what is being said. Our short attention span society has become sound-bite bait. All people are interested in is the headline, not the story. No one is willing anymore to invest the time it takes to even read the full article or to watch in-depth news reporting. Who has time for that?

    We define our lives in 140 character tweets or by selfies and where we are and who we are with and what we just ate for dinner on Facebook.

    It’s a shame that we have become so superficial.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RaiBal says:

      😦 I’m sorry to hear you wouldn’t read anything that doesn’t fit your mold 😦 However, I still appreciate the fact that you stopped by and offered to comment. I am in agreement with what you said, too. I’ve blogged about this topic a few times myself. By ‘we’ I hope you mean ‘them’ because I don’t think either of us fit into that category, do you?


  2. Doobster418 says:

    I meant “we” in the royal sense, meaning every else besides you and me. :-).

    As to not reading anything that doesn’t fit my mold, my mold is really quite broad. I read a wide variety of genres, from sci-fi to suspense to legal dramas to action/adventure to horror to comedy and to non-fiction. I’m just not into romance novels. I don’t think I quite fit the romance novel target audience. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RaiBal says:

      That’s quite alright. I understand perfectly. Still, my post wasn’t ALL about romance novels. I’m glad you dropped in and chatted with me, though. I read a variety of works as well, too. I’m just not as comfortable writing them as I am with the romance genre. Heck, I’ll read just about anything, even a sports column – least favorite read. Enjoy the day!


  3. idleandbored2 says:

    hahaha love the pic, smut book covers make me laugh! 🙂
    great post!


    • RaiBal says:

      Yikes. I write smut? Oh,dear. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read! 😀


      • idleandbored2 says:

        nothing wrong with smut! I’ve read one or two 🙂
        (i always call romance novels smut books can’t help it lol)

        Liked by 1 person

        • RaiBal says:

          Hey, it’s quite alright by me! If you read them and still feel that way, I salute you. It’s those who don’t and feel justified in labeling them that bug me. And, by smut, I agree as far as ‘erotic’ romance goes. I don’t write that kind. Too afraid to go there 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Book Covers | Robert Jepson

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