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blog: Consider yourself judged

Andrew FerschVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyAndrew Fersch
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A young woman, looking bereft, yet still stunning, mourning the loss of the man she loves he had to return to the Bulwark, the high seas, and the life of a seafaring sailor who cannot be tied down. Blonde flowing locks in the salty ocean breeze, a tight yet somehow billowy blouse barely covering her magnificently voluptuous body. Sound enticing? Maybe to you, it sure isnt to me though.And as such, consider yourself judged book cover. The old proverb that you cant judge a book by its cover is officially dead, and although Id like to take the credit to say that I singlehandedly slaughtered the phrase in a back alley with a shank made of a plastic toothbrush melted down, I must say, I am far from the first to notice its rotting corpse. These days the creation of book covers is a huge moneymaking industry, maybe not on par monetarily with say, alcohol advertisings budget, its still got a lot of money in it, and far too much for the embarrassing visual drivel that gets placed on books that are published. There are folks out there who are getting paid a salary for creating the nonsense that an intelligent person probably at one time could have convinced me not to judge.Unfortunately, in our society appearance is just about everything. If you like rap music, you are going to be showin your draws and your hats gonna be put on incorrectly. If you are in a fraternity, theres certainly gonna be some pop to your collar and your jeans will cost more than I value your life at. As such, our books are being designed to catch our attention more than the summary or the content in general.At first sight, this might seem like a bad thing, it actually turns out to be quite helpful though. That romance novel cover will let me know, without wasting my precious life, that Im viewing something I dont need to bother reading the back of, because its quite clearly going to be a waste of my time. Harry Potter is nice enough to let me know that unless Im a member of the chess club who loves sorcery and magic and plays D & D and Halo on the weekends, Im not gonna be down with the newest book. The Reagan Diaries cover lets me know that unless Im a lackey of a dead man who loved everyone who was rich and white like him, Im probably not going to gain much from the book. Any cover by Jodi Picoult lets me know that unless Im feeling very much at one with my stereotypically feminine side, I might not want to be reading her. As for The World Without Us, unless Im a sensitive environmentalist, I might have a few qualms with whats being presented. And Becoming a Better You goes ahead and lets me know that I am not as good as Joel Osteen, maybe though, if I read his book, I might just become good enough to do his laundry, if Im lucky.Is almost seemed like a flawless plan of action too, judging said books by their covers, of course, until I actually started thinking about it. Would I see a book Oprah recommended and then think, Gee, thats something I gotta own!? I wouldnt think so, then again, I have been wrong before. And so, seeing Oprahs recommendation on the front of a dainty looking Love in the Time of Cholera probably wouldnt have sold me, then again, I wouldnt have to read it, its already one of my favorite books.Realizing this threw me through a loop though, if Im not supposed to judge Garcia Marquez, should I be judging a book that has sold countless millions of copies and made an innumerable number of children love reading again? And how about thugs? Are they actually just people who have a different way of expressing their style and personality through dress? So does that mean that I was wrong for judging that beautiful needy woman whos eyes spoke volumes about her weakness and her love for her unattainable man or that frat boy who shoved me for not giving him a high five? Alright, so maybe the adage should be changed to Judge really obvious books by their cover, they deserve it. I fully intend to do that at the very least and I dont think that Im wrong for that. Do you?Check out http://judgeabook.blogspot.com, where North Carolina librarian Maggie shares her favorite books that she has judged!


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