Elizabeth's Bookshop: Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Elizabeth's Bookshop: Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

How wrapping books may help you to discover your new favorite novel.

Do you judge a book by its cover? I must admit that I have before too. It’s just that sometimes I enjoy sitting in the yard on campus and letting myself fall into an epic romance — but I’d like to do so without holding a book that has a man with his shirt ripped open and chest glistening as he catches a fainting (swooning?) woman. It’s a little embarrassing, but who knows, maybe by not picking one, I missed out on what could have been my new favorite book.

In Newton, Australia exists Elizabeth’s Bookshop, a bookstore that has adopted a method meant to keep readers from judging a book by its cover. The idea of the project is that the staff pick some of their favorite books and wrap the copies in brown paper so that buyers cannot see the cover; on the brown paper, the staff writes bullet points that vaguely describe the story within, and readers can decide if they like the sound of the novel or not without design bias. For example, one book in the stockpile has the points: Marriage, fight, accident, and nightmare printed on the front. Another: tragedy, justice, solution, and divergence.

My sister’s friend recently published her first novel and every day she questions whether the cover of her book is overdramatic in the worst way. She wonders how some things about it may set someone off from her story, and thinking about it, people tend to be on the touchy side when it comes to media images. With recent pictures of models who are deemed “too skinny” has come the argument that skinny shaming exists, especially because some women just have a high metabolism and cannot help their weight. If a book cover has a thin woman on the front, will that push readers away? Or what about the opposite? Would a larger woman make petty minds turn an eye? You rarely see black people on the cover of novels — unless the book involves some sort of fetish — but maybe that’s because white characters are safe in a world where racism still triumphs over unconscious and conscious minds. The race of the people on the cover of a book can be a factor in someone buying something.

According to Debate.org, 51% of buyers believe that you can, in fact, judge a book by its cover, which means that about 1 out of every 2 people who pick up a book think they can figure out if they will like a book or not simply based on the cover art. However, a thing to consider is that fact that while authors are asked to give their opinion about the cover created for their work, their opinions are not always the final one. The opinion of the author is simply considered, but because they have sold their work to the publishing company, the company has the ultimate final decision on what artwork will represent someone else's work. Many know from English classes that people can interpret books in many different ways, and a cover can be a different interpretation than the author wanted or meant. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the cover will in fact fairly represent the plot of the novel.

With the covers covered, readers are more likely to enjoy something when they’ve read points that deem the book as something they would enjoy, and could be pleasantly surprised to find the next great novel that they would never have picked. The great novel in the brown paper bag.

Check out the Elizabeth's Bookshop website here.

Cover Image Credit: Womanazing

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College

The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

Cover Image Credit: Stock Snap

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What I Didn't See Coming

It's crazy how life can be going well, and then suddenly get so much better.

You know that feeling, when your life is going really well and you think, "It couldn't get any better than this?"

Well, I try to avoid that phrase. I'm quite superstitious and I believe saying phrases like this only bring bad juju. But, about 5 months ago I realized that my life was going in a pretty great direction. If you would've asked me then if I would change anything, I probably would've told you no and that I had everything I wanted.

Well, it's funny how things have a way of finding you when you least expect them.

All of a sudden, things I didn't realize I wanted were being presented to me every single day. These things made me nervous, but I couldn't help but want to dive into them full heartedly. So that's exactly what I did. Without hesitation, I immersed myself in all of these new things and I'm so glad I did. Now, besides being even more happy than I was before (I didn't even think it was possible), I'm more focused, I feel like I have an idea of what I want to be and do in the future, and I'm learning all these new things about myself and those around me.

So, being the cautious person I am, I was worried that maybe this was too good to be true or that there was some sort of catch to it all. Well, nothing is certain, but so far I don't see any catches.

And that's exactly what makes this thing so incredible.

I had no idea that I wanted or needed any of it, but once it was presented to me, I knew I absolutely had to have it. I used to think that things that like only happened on T.V. and that you almost had to plan the unexpected, but I guess this is proof that that is not the case.

I also used to think good things only happened to you when you were down. That maybe they weren't necessarily good things, but they were better than what was presented at hand. This experience of mine has debunked that myth as well, in this particular case at least. I quietly thought that that was as good as it got, that nothing could be better than what I had at that point in time. I'm glad I was wrong.

Something I've taken away from this is not to expect something good to happen when you're down, or really to expect anything at all. I've learned that if you're doing what you want to be doing, and you're creating good around, good will eventually find you too.

That's not to say that you should do good things only because you expect good things in return, I don't think it works that way (not that I have any real knowledge on how karma in the universe works). But I think you genuinely have to not be looking for something for an unexpected positive to happen.

Another thing I've learned from this is to appreciate what you have while you have it.

I think it's easy to get lost in the day to day, mundane routine and forget about all the good things around you. Even when you feel like things couldn't get worse, it's important to remember the things you have that make you happy.

Even something small, like the new mug you got, or the one new shirt you got at the mall, something doesn't have to be big to be a good thing. Learning to appreciate the small things also makes the big things that more noticeable.

When you get the pay raise, land the internship you wanted, or when that boy finally asks you on a real date (!!!), these things become more valuable to you, and because of that, you're probably going to take more care of these things, and potentially set yourself up for more "good, big things".

With all that being said, I hope everyone's "big thing" will happen soon. If you look around and don't see a change in sight, well maybe that means your "thing" is closer than you think.

Cover Image Credit: Heather Ball

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