Judging a Book by its Cover

15 02 2011

As the saying goes: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. This metaphorical phrase represents a respect of inner beauty rather than outward. The physical appearance alone should not judge the value and worth of something. That being said, at a glance, the first impression still means a lot.

This is more of a rant than anything but it’s a topic worth covering.

Just recently I read a book by the title of “The Diamond Age” by Neal Stephenson. The book contains concepts that I cannot wholeheartedly grasp being in my mid-teens and is in general, an incredibly complex sci-fi fantasy novel. At a family gathering some two days ago, an uncle seriously questioned my sexuality when he saw me reading this book. It doesn’t help that I do not have the cyberpunk themed cover art as seen above but the brilliantly red exterior depicting a girl running down the street with her handbag. Along with that, in bold letters, the ulterior title of the novel is printed and it is quite misleading as it states: “OR, A YOUNG LADY’S ILLUSTRATED PRIMER”. He immediately thought that it was a chicklet novel which is understandable but the content is nothing of the sort. It infuriates me that while the idiom is so well known, people do not follow it.

As hypothetical topic, what if it was a chicklet novel? Maybe it was one involving a female pixie turned into a vampire, riding a horse that transformed into a handsome prince when the heroine broke the social norm inflicted by her parents. Even if it was that kind of a book, does that mean I cannot read it? Perhaps it is a satirical piece written to display a purpose worth pursuing. To any of my readers have read the literary selection “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, if that had been taken at face value than he would have been slaughtered by the Irish.

*Sigh* Sometimes, I wish I could live in solitude. Or at least, I should have the ability to blend myself into a wall like a chameleon and not be ridiculed for my taste in literature. I mean, The Diamond Age revolves around the idea of a revert to the caste system, disparity in social class, and education. It’s won the damn Hugo Award! It’s a good book. A really good book. Ya’ll mooks ya hear me? MOOKS!

The cover that I own. It's not particularly girly is it?


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5 responses

15 02 2011
leadinglight

It does not look that girly at all. Is the cover very sparkly? I think it is probably the Young Lady Primer thing he most likely noticed. But I think it rather silly to be ridiculed for reading. My family passes a similar judgement on me because I’m reading fiction (“story books”) and not something “serious”

By the way I love everything Jonathan Swift has written.

15 02 2011
jacqivarius

It is very silly isn’t it? It is simply strange that an “adult” criticizes my taste in literature when they think that the fourth Harry Potter book is the epitome of a good read but I digress.

To be ridiculed for reading is obscured, in my opinion fiction is what keeps our civilization sane nowadays. What would constitute as a serious book? A textbook perhaps but come university level, the textbook is practically null. If I fancy a read, then perhaps I should be praised rather than laughed at as most people my age are wasting away from substance abuse. I think I may be an angry individual.

And I agree that Jonathan Swift is an amazing writer. He’s so satirical that I love it.

19 02 2011
leadinglight

A serious book is a non-fiction book… in their eyes. They think fiction is irrelevant in society. My family is pragmatic and so thinks creativity is inferior because it takes longer to succeed in its pursuit.

Swiss Family Robinson has been a favourite book since I was nine.

18 02 2011
天才

Heh, seems kind of silly on your uncles’ part. Not only is it not a “chick” novel, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was. Read what you enjoy as long as you’re reading. ^ ^

18 02 2011
jacqivarius

It’s a bit depressing when I can’t read a book without being mocked. I’m embarrassed with how my uncle acted. I think that everyone should simply read whatever they like; these social restraints are too cumbersome. I wouldn’t mind reading a novel about a ginger cat named Bubbles.

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