|Photo courtesy of o5com, Creative Commons Attribution License|
Then they went on to discuss which book jackets they liked...and didn't like. This was particularly interesting. They pointed to ones they loved and discussed them. By that point I was doing all I could not to enter in to their conversation. Finally, after many, many jackets discussed, I piped up and said, "Sorry to interrupt, but I find it interesting that most all of the jackets you say you love don't have images of people on them." (Especially odd since it seems that so many of today's jackets show close-ups of girls' faces.) After a look of shock--whether at my intruding on their conversation or realization that they actually had ignored the faces, I don't know--one of the girls turned to me and said, "That's because the girl never looks like the girl in my head." Then the other two chimed in that they hate to have a picture of the girl on the front because it messes with the image they get by reading the book. Hmmm...I thought about this and realized that it's that very thing that makes me cringe upon seeing any of the Twilight movies. Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson look nothing like the Bella and Edward I saw as I was reading. For that reason, I just can't stomach the movies. The girls then went on to share with me some of the books WITH characters on them that they liked (Thirteen Reasons Why--which, incidentally, shows not the boy main character but the dead girl; Before I Fall--so close up that things like hair and body shape are hidden). They also liked books with just a piece of a person (such as feet or hands) but not a clear image of what the character looks like.
I found this entire conversation so interesting, and it has stayed with me. What makes you want to read a book you see on a shelf? How much does the image play into your decision? And, ultimately, does it have an effect on your reading?