You may have heard the idiom, don’t judge a book by its cover, an admonishment to not let surface appearances sway you. Take the time to read the book, delve beneath the surface, and find what message lies within its pages. Get to know a person instead of letting your preconceived notions quickly fix labels upon them. Don’t judge a book by its cover, someone entreats us, wagging their finger for emphasis. This series does the opposite- I’m judging a book only on the basis of its cover!
The cover of a book carries great responsibility- it has to tell you what the book is about and lure you into buying it. We’ve all been tempted by, or fallen in love with, a beautiful image on the cover of a book and rushed to buy it because the cover holds such promise. Either it’s a beautiful picture, a gorgeous combination of colors, the typography is stylish, or the text itself is provocative and noteworthy. I have done this many times – borrowed or bought a book on the basis of the cover alone – because having been a photographer, I’m unconsciously ‘framing’ everything I see as part of a potential photograph. In these cases, I am thinking of the book as a prop. All it needs to do is look good because the cover is all I need from the book. The contents are extra!
Photography was once an integral part of my life, as essential as my daily cup of tea. Writing has taken over that role now but I thought it would be fun to put together a photography series of looking at books and, you know, judging them by their cover! For the first book in this series, I chose Oriental Carpets And Rugs by Stanley Reed. I found this book a few weeks ago at a library book sale and I had to bring it home. It didn’t matter that I know very little about carpets and rugs and do not grasp the intricacies of weaving such masterpieces. In fact, I may never finish reading the book completely (don’t judge). Because I will be sitting with my cup of tea, browsing through the color plates in the book, when a passing cloud will hide the sun making the light perfect for a picture like this.
Verdict: This book will appeal to the textile aficionado, to the photographer and stylist, and to those who for whom that red, and those patterns, hold a powerful attraction!