Why Beautiful Book Covers Are Dangerous

It starts with a glimpse. You didn’t intend to buy that book (in fact you didn’t intend to buy a book at all because you know you’re broke again) but you did. Why? I tell you, why.

After reading “Magonia” by Maria Dahvana Headley I was disappointed. If I’m honest it’s not because the story was bad (it wasn’t) but because it never had a chance to be this awesome as I want it to be.
We’ll take this book as an example (there are so many other beautiful-Cover-books out there but this one made me think about the difficulties of book covers). If you want to read the Review just click on the Cover (damn, it’s beautiful!)

There are the three stages of the “Beautiful-Book-Cover-Syndrom“.

1. You fall in love with the Cover  even though you haven’t really read the Synopsis on the back (yet).

This is where you can cure yourself quickly – if this book isn’t really your Genre or Type, in 80% of the cases you can convince yourself that you’ll be fine without it.
The remaining 20% are the dangerous ones because you assure yourself that experimenting with new kind of stories is always something good (is it? If you know you can’t read horror books without having sleeping problems and the Cover is dangerously beautiful… I wouldn’t pick the book. I’m stronger than that (or so I believe)).

2. You’ll open the first page at home (or “on the train”, “on your way to work” .. insert whatever you want) and start reading while your brain is singing “THIS WILL BE THE BEST BOOK (eveeeeeeeer)”


 You know … it’s not rational and not healthy for you or your expectations. You should’ve turned around and resisted that sweet temptation. …. You couldn’t. So you read and read and read and if this book is at least a good three out of five you won’t be THAT disappointed.

3. You start panicking because the “Awesome-Factor” hasn’t kicked in yet and you really want to love this book beyond anything.


It’ll be fine, you say to yourself, it’ll come. There will be something … something big and great and AWESOME that is going to make me love this book so hard! Nevertheless, your hopes will be shattered because you realise very quickly – at the end of the road there is just disappointment waiting for you.
I’m sorry.

4. Grieving or Denial. Or Anger. 

You reached the last page. You close the book. You stare at the wall with a blank expression. Yes. It’s true. This book wasn’t great. In fact, it was really bad.
Are you ready to admit that to yourself?

Come on.

… and after that you realise why beautiful book covers are dangerous. No one could’ve lived up to the irrational high expectations you were having after seeing the Cover, because your own imagination isn’t limited by words, number of pages or characters.
The next time you see a gorgeous book cover – you’ll have to resist.

… even though we both know, that won’t be the case.

Gifs are taken from here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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2 thoughts on “Why Beautiful Book Covers Are Dangerous

  1. Aaaargh, so familiar! I can never resist a gorgeous cover and then end up disappointed. One would think I would have learned by now.

    Oh, and this “Magonia” book? Looks awesome *goes to buy* Resist! Resist!

    Liked by 1 person

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