Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cliches Were Meant to Be Broken...

Particularly this one: "Never judge a book by its cover."

Really?  What else does everybody do every single time they go to the library or bookstore to browse for a book?

You go to the store, wander up and down the aisles. A book catches your eye, so you pull it off the shelf. If the cover looks interesting, however you define that, you will read the synopsis on the back, maybe glance through the bits of praise and see what other people are saying.

If the book doesn't look interesting, then you put it back on the shelf and walk on. 

I get what the old cliche is trying to say: "Don't dismiss someone until you get to know them." But sometimes the cover doesn't lie. 

I've spent the last several weeks judging books by their covers. Sometimes just by their titles. 

I came into possession of around eight thousand ebooks recently. That's a lot of books, I know. I knew there was no way I would ever come close to reading each one, so I started to attempt to winnow the list a little. 

First, I found all the duplicates. There were quite a few. Then I started consolidating books into folders under their authors' names. As I was consolidating, I would open the file that showed the cover. If it was a romance novel, it went into the trash. If it was a book based on Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars or a video game, it also went into the trash. 

Eventually, I got to the point where if the title sounded like a romance book or included the words "A novel" after the title, I deleted the book. I've since relented a little when it comes to the words "a novel." They still bug me, because I know it's a novel, but I'll let it slide for now.

Now I'm working on going through and renaming each file so that it will be sorted by author in one big list, subdivided into genre. 

It's a little monotonous, but I actually enjoy it. I listen to music and sort book files. Kind of fun. I'm still reading a lot and trying to get into the practice of writing every day. 

And I'm judging books by their covers.

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