When metaphors attack.
Men tend to judge books by their cover. They can be fooled by a fancy cover, never looking deeply into the contents. Indeed, a nice cover can make up for a certain amount of dull prose.
Women can be fooled by the blurb on the back and clever prose. If the blurb and the prose are good enough, it can make up for a weak story. Women too prefer a nice cover and can fall for its appeal alone, but this happens less often. Indeed too pretty a cover can make them really check the contents. Good reviews and the fact that many of her friends have expressed interest can cause a woman to revaluate a previously dismissed book.
Men love to boast about all the books they have read. While they tend to focus on the typesetting and layout, they can enjoy regaling their friends about the book with a cool cover and a crazy plotline.
The problem is the only way to be sure a book is any good is to read it. Men miss out on great books with mundane covers. Women miss out on great books that received a bad write up.
Women are probably better than men at giving up on a book that has turned out to be disappointing. Men, sadly, will read to the very end.
[Of course, a bad book can’t take half your stuff and your children if you give up on it.]