I recently received a book for Christmas.
Now I love this book. It’s the first in one of my favorite series. I was excited to finally own it. I’ve been wanting to reread this series, but I have this weird thing about not checking out books that I love from the library. I want to own them. Because if I love them, I have a tendency to not want to give them back. So I hadn’t had the chance to reread it till now.
But this copy I received has a movie cover.
I hate movie covers.
It ruins the imagination of a story. It takes away your own perception of the description of the characters. Instead of reading the characters as they’re described, you’re given an image of them from the very beginning. Every time you pick up the book, you’re presented with this image. You can’t create your own; you’re forced to take the one given to you.
I don’t like this.
I like to read how characters are described. And then I take it and have my own perception of them. As I read the book, how I picture a character in my head can sometimes change. As I get to know them better, see their faults and virtues and understand how they perceive the world, my imagination becomes clear. Their image solidifies in my mind.
But when my book has a movie cover, every time I close the book, I’m presented with this actor instead of the character. And I can’t fight it. That’s always my last perception of the character, so now I can no longer see my image of them in my mind’s eye.
I don’t like it.
There’s a reason I don’t ever show people themselves in my blog post pictures. I don’t want you to associate the post with a face. I want you to relate it to a feeling, to a perception, an opinion. I give you a presentation of who I am: I show you parts of myself. As you read my blog posts, I want you to build a picture of me in your mind. I want you to build a certain reputation, if you will, of who I am. And not associate it with this stranger stock image I found on the internet.
When giving a person a new book, do not give them the movie cover. You can ruin the story for them. You can change how they perceive the book and its characters. They will imagine the characters as the actors. Don’t rid them of the joy of coming up with their own perception.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That is true, but the cover still says a lot. And if it says how you should see the character, you can never see the characters as your own.
What do you think? Do you agree with me? Or do you like movie characters on the front of your books? Why or why not? Let me know.