Judging a Book. . .


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.]

5 Responses to “Judging a Book. . .”

  1. David Collard Says:

    Very well put.
    [DU: I liked this comment so much that I removed it from the spam filter, where it had, for some unknown reason, ended up.]

  2. Vincent Ignatius Says:

    Good metaphor.

    I have no problem dropping a book that turns out to be boring in the first couple of chapters.
    [DU: Whether in the metaphoric or real sense (you know, an actual book) it is a good idea.]

  3. David Foster Says:

    Hmmm…..I can usually tell how much I’ll like a book just by reading the first page.
    [DU: A very useful skill in the literal (or literary) sense as well as the metaphoric one.]

  4. David Collard Says:

    In the old days, you had to cut the pages of a book for yourself, the first time. That doesn’t happen so much these days.

  5. Lovekraft Says:

    Another good metaphor making the internet rounds:

    a woman declares “why do women who sleep with many men get a bad rap, while the men who do it are praised?!”

    To which a clever man replies: “Think of a lock that can be opened by many keys. Not very valuable. Now think of a key that can open many locks. Very valuable.”
    [DU: I like that explanation too. It explains the “double standard” so well.]

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