Judging a Book By its Cover

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is old advice that we’ve all heard numerous times. And, while I try not to do that in the figurative sense in which it is meant, I admit that when it comes to actual books, I most definitely judge books by their covers.

I have been drawn to many books because they have covers that appeal to me. Some attributes that I love in a book cover include: snow, dark colors, gold, flowers, pretty houses, scroll work, and interesting fonts.

A few of my favorite book covers are below. It’s easy to see what my “type” is, and I find it very fascinating that the book industry knows exactly how to appeal to readers like me. Not that I am complaining. I’ll gladly take many more stories like these with gorgeous covers to let me know that I must read them!

The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker

The cover for “The Golem and the Jinni” ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to book covers. It features a photograph from 1910 by Jessie Tarbox Beals of the Washington Arch in New York City. Everything about this cover is lovely and magical (so is the book, by the way). It just might be my all-time favorite book cover.

The Miniaturists, Jessie Burton

It would have been easy to just use a dollhouse on the cover of “The Miniaturist,” (and, indeed, I found that there is an alternate cover with a dollhouse), but I think this one is much more interesting. The scene in the skirt has a snow globe kind of feel, which is fun. I also love the pop of color from the bird.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, Imogen Hermes Gowar

This one has a little bit of a different feel to it than the previous two. There’s no snow, for starters. Still, I love the colors, the fonts, and the layout of this cover. To me, it has a structured yet soft feel to it, with the shell on top of the blue and gold background. I feel like I could be looking down into the water in search of a mermaid, or a mermaid looking up out of the water and seeing the stars in the sky beyond.

The Vanishing, Wendy Webb

I love old houses almost as much as I love reading, so when these two loves come together, I can’t resist. Just this week, I had two books get returned to the library with old, slightly creepy houses on the front covers. I instantly made note of the titles so that I could put them on my “to-read” list. I like all of Wendy Webb’s covers, but the house in this one makes it my favorite.

The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey

This is a beautiful cover for a beautiful book. There is a hint of mystery – who are the little girl hiding behind the tree and her fox friend? It evokes the feeling of the book very well.

The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden

Just one more. I can’t write about covers without including “The Bear and the Nightingale,” by Katherine Arden. This one, like “The Golem and the Jinni” hits all the right notes. I really cannot resist a wintry, magical-looking cover.

What are your favorite book covers? Do you find that there are certain elements that make a book appealing to you?

Happy reading!

~Val

RBdigital is moving to Libby

A few years ago, the Plum Creek Library System added RBdigital audiobooks to our digital library. This week, the content available from RBdigital will be moving to another app many of you are already familiar with – Libby.

The move is set to take place for the Plum Creek Library System this Wednesday, Oct. 14.

What does this mean for you? Here is what you should know before the move takes place.

Holds, wish lists, and checkout history

If you have holds in RBdigital, they will not move over to Libby. The same is true for wish lists and checkout history. If you would like a list of your holds, wish list, and checkout history, you can export your transaction history from RBdigital under “My Account>Profiles.” Holds can be placed again in Libby, and wish lists can be recreated.

Current loans

If you have audiobooks currently checked out from RBdigital, they will remain available to you until the end of their lending period.

How to get Libby

Libby can be downloaded for free from your device’s app store. All you need to sign in is your library card. If you are unable to use Libby on your device, you can download OverDrive instead, or visit our OverDrive site.

As always, if you have any questions about our digital library, please do not hesitate to call or email me. I am happy to help!

Happy reading!

~Val

What’s New in October

Adult

“Elsewhere,” Dean Koontz (10/6)

“Forever By Your Side” (Willamette Brides #3), Tracie Peterson (10/6)

“The Searcher,” Tana French (10/6)

“Troubles in Paradise,” Elin Hilderbrand (10/6)

“Invisible Girl,” Lisa Jewell (10/13)

“Jingle All the Way,” Debbie Macomber (10/13)

“Return to Virgin River” (Virgin River #19), Robyn Carr (10/13)

“A Time for Mercy,” John Grisham (10/13)

“Three Women Disappear,” James Patterson (10/26)

“Love Your Life,” Sophie Kinsella (10/27)

“The Noel Letters” (Noel #4), Richard Paul Evans (10/27)

“The Sentinel” (Jack Reacher #25), Lee Child (10/27)

“Shakeup” (Stone Barrington #55), Stuart Woods (10/27)

“Truly, Madly, Deeply,” Karen Kingsbury (10/27)

“You Betrayed Me,” Lisa Jackson (10/27)

Large Print

“The Water Keeper,” Charles Martin

“Children of the Stars,” Mario Escobar

“Two Reasons to Run,” Colleen Coble

“Piecing It All Together,” Leslie Gould

Children

“Guinness World Records 2021” (10/6)

“I Want to Sleep Under the Stars,” Mo Willems (10/6)

“Max Meow,” John Gallagher (10/6)

“Twins,” Varian Johnson (10/6)

“Tristan Strong Destroys the World” (Tristan Strong #2), Kwame Mbalia (10/6)

“Mrs. Bacon is Fakin’,” Dan Gutman (10/20)

 “The Deep End,” (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #15), Jeff Kinney (10/27)

Teen

“Shattered,” Sarah N. Harvey

“One Way,” Norah McClintock

“Watch Me,” Norah McClintock

“Coming Clean,” Jeff Ross

“Mindfulness and Meditation: Handling Life With a Calm and Focused Mind,” Whitney Stewart

“A Song of Wraiths and Ruin,” Roseanne A. Brown

“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” Jason Reynolds

Movies

“Trolls: World Tour”

“Onward”

“Sonic the Hedgehog”

Favorite book formats

Most people, it seems, have a favorite book format. Some are quite outspoken about liking – or disliking – a certain format, while others seem to just be quietly drawn to one type. Some choose a format out of necessity – large print or audio, for example.

I used to be a snob about ebooks, but now, they are my favorite format. I love the convenience and ease of use. I don’t have the best vision, so I love being able to adjust to fonts and colors that are easier for me to see (I prefer a dark background with white text). I love that I don’t have to worry about finding good lighting to read in, because my tablet is already lit up. By far, most of my reading in the past several years has consisted of ebooks. I’m so used to it, I sometimes try to swipe a page instead of turning it when I’m reading a paper book.

My second favorite book format is the mass-market paperback. There are, generally, two different types of paperbacks. Trade paperbacks are about the size of a hardcover book, but with a paper cover instead. Mass-market paperbacks are considerably smaller. I love mass-market paperbacks because they are light and easy to hold onto (most of the time; really long books don’t work very well in mass-market size). They are very portable – easy to toss into a purse, beach bag, or suitcase.

I think my next favorite format is probably the audiobook. I’ve come to believe that nearly any task is made bearable with an audiobook. A day of cleaning and doing laundry becomes much more pleasant with an audiobook playing. I have a bluetooth speaker that is my frequent companion around the house. It perches on the arm of the chair or couch, lounges in the laundry basket, and witnesses my morning makeup routine while dutifully projecting whatever audiobook I’ve currently got downloaded on my phone.

We are so lucky to have books in formats for any occasion and available to people of all abilities. What is your favorite way to read?

Happy reading!

~Val