Sunday, April 17, 2005

How to Judge a Book By Its Cover

The old saying is “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” This is generally true, and, in an enlightened and reasonable age, should be taken on both its literal and figurative levels.

As we don’t live in an enlightened, reasonable, or even lemon-scented age, we feel completely at ease in saying this: on the literal level, there are certain instances in which you can indeed judge a book by its cover, or at least by quick examination. The following are just a few of these instances:

The author shares the same name as the villain in Tron.

The book is marketed at adults but features a rainbow, unicorn, beneficent angel, or aura-encased figure on the cover.

It’s written in center-aligned Dom Casual True Type font.

There’s a blurb by someone from FOX News on the back cover.

It’s co-authored by a beloved household pet.

The title is a haphazard coupling of two seemingly unrelated themes, e.g. “Death and a Light Brunch” or “The Eggs Benedict Kidnapping.”

It claims to be the only book you’ll ever need on its particular subject despite being surrounded by three shelves-worth of books on the same subject.

The author’s previous works includes a biography of Beyoncé Knowles and a handbook for making your own sausage in “three quick steps.”

John Edward wrote it.

The cover says that the book is based on a movie, which was based on a video game, which, in turn, was based on a book.

The author or authors appear on the cover.

In his/her photo, the author or authors display a grin not unlike Satan sports when he assumes human form and crawls about the earth sowing discord.

The author is the villain from Tron.


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