Mention of my penchant for monochrome covers yesterday led me on the trail for some evidence-based research.I've already owned up to being a stalker gathering vicarious pleasures around the bookseller and publisher blogs.I came across this over on The Snowblog this week and I hope they don't mind me commenting on it here,
"Understand that you can sell a book by its cover. The one thing a reader cannot judge a book on at the point of sale is the quality of the writing: they haven't read it yet... Readers have to rely on visual cues to place the book in its genre. ..."
This is exactly what has happened to me with my protracted bout of Chronic Biblio-Monochromania (this may not feature in medical textbooks just yet) and I was beginning to feel a bit of a malingerer, mildly fickle and shallow over it all. Pull yourself together and go and buy a load of books with a brightly coloured covers right now, but I don' t feel quite so bad now I realise I'm genre reading.
I'm not called dovegreyreader just for the colour I think my hair's about to go,or my peace-loving tendencies it would seem, place a selection of books in front of me and it's a safe bet that I will go for the ones (note the plural, why buy just one?) with the monochrome covers.
When I glanced at my reading table recently there was a complete dearth of colour and for such a textile and wool colour fiend that's quite strange, a total absence of gold foil titles in relief on a bed of rainbow. Frankly it looked melancholy in the extreme and that quite cheered me. These are my absolute favourite reads of the moment. I put it all to the test and kept leaping up to find books I've loved in recent months, some old favourites and plenty waiting to be read.Oodles of monochrome in there.
I think this could be akin to the literary placebo effect, a proportion of a book's work is done with the cover and what it says to me before I even open it.If it's monochrome I believe I will like it. Of course it's ridiculous because I'll look far beyond the cover but I don't seem to be able to stop it happening at point of sale.
I've mentioned these old friends before and the first LP I ever bought, perhaps this is where it all began?
Or perhaps not.The bookhound has his own theory and thinks it goes back even further. We were both Coronation year babies and grew up in the 1950's watching the world in black and white on televisions with tiny screens.Surely the war was fought in monochrome? Reach for the Sky, The Dambusters, there was our world, England in black and white, clearly our brains were conditoned to receive the picture very early on, we've been suffering from Biblio-Monochromania for as long as we can remember.
The bookhound has just designed a gorgeous cover for a book to be published next year on Atlantic Salmon for a very special friend and author of his acquaintance.I'll let you guess his colour range.