Judging Books By Their Covers: A Cautionary Tale

April 11, 2023 My Reading Life 3

Hiya Bookworms,

I don’t know how other folks out there go about choosing their books, but often when I finish an audio book, I’m at loose ends as to what to try next. I listen to all my audio books digitally, so I’m almost always using Hoopla (library extension) or Scribd (subscription service) on my phone to make a decision. It’s important to note is that the images of these book covers that I see on my phone are pretty small. That’ll be important here in a minute… Obviously I know what authors I enjoy and I have a decent memory for titles that I know some like-minded reader friends have enjoyed, so I almost never read the synopsis of a book before I dive in. 

Most of the time, this strategy is fine. I mean, the vast majority of illustrated cover romances go over well for me. Sometimes, the title will tell you everything you need to know about a book, like Kimberly Lemming’s masterpieces That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon or That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a WerewolfBoth are cheeky and delightful, even if I still have some questions about the werewolf and that one scene with the tentacles.  

Other times, I end up guessing wrong about a book. Case in point: A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings. I assumed the book was going to be about artists because I thought the brush referenced a paintbrush and the cover looked to me like a tube of paint or some such. WRONG! It was about dental students. The image was toothpaste, not paint. But this was actually a pleasant surprise as I’ve never read anything about dental school and my mom is a retired dental hygienist. A lot of this book brought back memories of interesting dinner conversations. I imagine most children of healthcare professionals occasionally here gross out stories; ours always involved teeth. Anyway. Fun surprise, cute book, all is well. 

Yesterday, I started reading Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell. The cover features a woman in a wheelchair next to her hunky love interest with some string winding around the cover. I assumed this was going to be a cute, cozy, inclusive romance about knitting. Perhaps some other fiber art endeavor.

I don’t know what size screen you’re reading this on, but here’s a key detail I missed:

Yeah, this is NOT about knitting. It’s about bondage. Accessible bondage, though, because romance right now (if you know where to look) is very inclusive and that’s fantastic. Would I have picked up this book had I realized it was about bondage? IDK. Maybe? It’s not really my usual jam, but I am nothing if not a committed life long learner. Just because something may not appeal to me personally, doesn’t mean I won’t still read the book (as long as there is clear consent from all parties and there’s no abusive behavior masquerading as romance, obviously.) Heck, I read a LOT of romances about blue aliens despite not being personally attracted to horns and tails. Did this mixup make me giggle? Most definitely. Was I scandalized? Nah. Still, I thought it was funny enough to write a blog after months of radio silence, so my inattention to detail benefits us all.

Gentle reader, take heed. Learn from this. Read the synopsis of any book you pick up unless you are mentally prepared for your knitting romance to turn out to be decidedly NOT about knitting. Carry on, Bookworms.

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3 Responses to “Judging Books By Their Covers: A Cautionary Tale”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Ahahahaha this made me laugh very much. Did you enjoy Knot My Type? It’s been on my list for a while, and I definitely want to read more romance novels with disabled protagonists!

    • Katie Words for Worms

      I did! I really liked it, actually. I mean, yes, there was some rope play, but it had a lot of heart, too. I read the second book in the series immediately after and I’ll be waiting impatiently for the other two because there HAVE to be at least two more- there are two more couples just simmering.

  2. Amanda

    You are my favorite. This made me giggle a lot. I don’t know that I would have caught the rope even on a full size book – I don’t know what that says about me. I did think A Brush with Love had potential so I’m going to have to go add that to the library list.

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