Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA 2016: Aesthetic Concerns - Books and Blogs

It's day two of Armchair BEA, and I'm feeling even more excited after how great yesterday was. There were some wifi problems that made it difficult for me to participate to the extent that I wanted to (fingers crossed those don't continue today), but even so, I had a great time. Now I'm excited to share today's post.

Aesthetics: Books

I used to say that I never judged a book by its cover, and I do think that was true at one point in my life. At least, I never noticed covers influencing my decisions to read particular books. However, at some point over the years, they started to sway me more than they had previously. I still don't think it's that huge of a factor if the book has a great synopsis or great reviews. Because I tend to hear about books online through discussion first, I don't even think covers are my first impression of a book all that often.

Still, I've noticed that there are certain aspects of covers that serve to turn me off. Really, it has to be an extremely ugly cover for me to not want to read the book, but I have found that it happens more now than in the past.

Plus, I hate when people are on covers. The best explanation for this aversion that I can come up with is that I hate having the ability to imagine the characters on my own taken away from me. Sure, I can still imagine them however I want as I read, but having that picture on the cover plants a picture in your mind that winds up influencing you (or me at least). So I'm not a huge fan of people on covers, but there are people on so many covers that I don't think it winds up influencing me to not pick up a book.

I don't want it to influence my decision because so many great books have people on the covers. Even Harry Potter, my favorite series, has people on the covers (of many editions). I know that my aversion to the cover itself doesn't mean I won't like the book inside, so I try not to let it influence me. Maybe it does more than I realize.

When it comes to the covers of series matching, I would like them to, but it doesn't bother me enough for me to go to great lengths to get matching covers. (Largely because of the money that might be involved.) I bought two books from the same series from a used bookstore recently, and I bought one in paperback and one in hardback. That was because one of them was only in hardback. The other book was in both, but the paperback was cheaper (and I also prefer reading paperbacks). Would it have been nice to have them both look the same? Yes, but not enough to stop me from buying one hardback and one paperback.

Aesthetics: Blogs

Branding is something that I struggle with to be honest. The design of my blog isn't what I'm most proud of, and it's something I've wanted to work on for quite a while (basically since I started the blog). One thing I can say is that the basic design of the blog hasn't changed much since 2009, which could be considered a good or bad thing. Most would probably consider it a bad thing.

Mostly, I like the colors of my blog because they're my favorite colors and I think they look good together. If I do manage to redesign the blog, I'd like to keep the same color scheme or at least something similar to it. I do use purple in my Twitter profile as well and just about anywhere that I can choose colors. Perhaps that helps with branding although my real motivation is, admittedly, that it's just my favorite color.

So, yeah, branding is something that I should pay more attention to, and the various aspects of branding are all things that I tell myself I'm going to work on, but then they get pushed to the back burner every time while I work on other things instead. Maybe talking about this on the blog will mean I take some steps to improve on it in the future.

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