Why It Is Cool to Judge A Book By its Cover!

When we judge a book by its cover we give ourselves the privilege to draw conclusions about people and stuff we think we understand. Do we?4 min

we ll love to judge a book by its cover
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The saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover because you will get the judgment wrong most of the time. Despite this, we do it all the time, and quite honestly, get it wrong most of the time.

But we also get it right just as well, depending on the circumstances.

The question is, are we wrong to let our bias and conclusions form the basis of our judgments?

Maybe not.

Judging a book by its cover is a fun thing to do since it is EASY and gives us the opportunity to say a few NASTY things about people and everything around us.

For the most part, our judgments are usually based on looks and appearance.

As Mercel Sprout wrote,

We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him which we compose in our minds, these ideas have certainly the principal place. 

It has contributed to a world where we choose to LOVE, HATE, RESPECT, DEMEAN, KILL, and PROTECT. We do this from the MANY viewpoints we have about other people and things. We are living so many lives – maybe 9, like cats!

We were not born with the mentality, and neither were we forced to use it. We learn it from everyone around us and teach it to willing learners. And history repeats itself!

Where it all Started

newborns do not judge a book by its cover
A child is born devoid of the cover syndrome 

The metaphorical phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover was first used in the Victorian era (the 1800s) and became popular in the 20th Century.

Mary Ann Evans, aka George Eliot, first used it in her book The Mill on the Floss (1860), and the idea was further discussed in a murder mystery book in 1946 dubbed, Murder in the Glass Room. The underlying argument in the book was: You can never tell a book by its cover.

It was used to reference picky decisions of books based on their covers. The more appeasing a book cover was, the more likely it would sell. On the other hand, a bad cover would send buyers away.

It was also meant to chastise humanity for passing quick judgment on people they came across simply because of appearance.

Even today, the good content inside the UGLY cover matters less unless we have been tipped about it in advance.

Why covers really matter!

Fast forward to the 21st Century and we still judge a book by its cover, and we are yet to get enough of it. It is probably due to the simplicity and satisfaction we derive in its utterance.

Covers will always matter
Covers will always matter

1. A designer judges a book by its cover

We literally spend lots of money and time to create things that look good. And that is where our judgment issues start. We pay designers lots of bucks to come up with the following:

  • flashy book covers
  • cute faces
  • sexy clothes
  • flashy phones
  • punky shoes
  • nice houses
  • even cute dogs

The list is endless.

we use shoes to judge a book by its cover
The shoes have to be unique to make a point

How possible then is it for us to desist from judging a book by its cover if what we get to see it is still not impressive? We always believe it has to undergo additional modifications.

It is bad enough when the item or person in question does not conform and go for the makeover.

2. We hardly practise what we preach

we hardly practice what we preach
We hardly practice what we preach

While parents preach empathy and challenge children not to talk ill of others, they take the liberty to scorn the new outfit their neighbor shopped for their daughter.

The statements listed below will escape their lips every so often,

It is too pinky

Took long

Old school

Poor girl!

All these are said in the presence of kids who grow up knowing the real value of a good COVER!

3. Then there is ‘mine is better than yours

do we actually hate other people?
 We actually do

Comparison is a BUZZ word everywhere. Even at home.

Phrases such as,

My dress is better than yours

My car is better than yours

My phone is better than yours

My house is better than yours

My girlfriend is better than yours

My boyfriend is better than yours

Really, if this is how we communicate and reference each other, nothing will stop us from judging anything or anyone.

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Alfred Amuno

I don’t exactly look like this emoji - in real life at least, but somehow, maybe I do. The emoji spots a visual head, eyes, mouth, and hand, just like the real me. These are tools I use to flip and write my notes about what I see in the world. In all fairness, the world is weird, interesting, and a bagful of stories to tell!