"" Writer's Wanderings: Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

Friday, April 27, 2018

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

We are told over and over never to judge things by their outward appearance and especially when it comes to our evaluation of other people. The common phrase we use for that is don't judge a book by its cover. A good philosophy for life. There are so many things/people we are tempted to prejudge on outward appearances alone.

The origin of the idiom is traced back to a 1944 edition of the African Journal of American Speech according to several sources I found. But the original was "you can't judge a book by its binding."

It is found again later in the 1946 murder mystery, Murder in the Glass Room by Lester Fuller and Edwin Rolfe who penned, "you can never tell a book by its cover."

The phrase, or idiom, got me to thinking. Why do I spend so much time designing my book covers? The answer? While I hope no one would judge my books by their covers, I still want to make a good first impression. Or create curiosity that makes a reader want to delve into the pages between the binding and find the story.

Just a writer's wanderings in the English language.

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