I wish folks would stop asking me about my favorite book. Can a parent pick a favorite child? (Well, even if parents could pick, they usually won’t say).
But, I will say that I have book covers that I love more than others. One example is the cover of the Ballantine mass market imprint of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring trilogy. These came out in the 1970’s and depict on the cover watercolors painted by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.
As much as I appreciate the rich art work of other cover artists (Alan Lee comes to mind) and as much as Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Middle Earth fills my mind’s eye, I always come back to these editions of the LOtR saga. My copies of these paperback editions are crumbling and disintegrating, and I have replaced them with subsequent editions both in print and on e-book. But I cannot bring myself to pitch out these editions.
I think the main reason for this is that I believe that these paintings are the closest we are ever going to get to seeing what Middle Earth really looks like — images straight from the creator’s imagination.
So in answer to the question: do I judge a book by its cover? I guess I do.
ljg (c) 2013