A Word on Movies as Book Covers

When you go to the bookstore you hope to find a good book to read, not necessarily a great movie to watch, but as you’re sauntering down the aisles you will inevitably come across at least one movie poster perpetrating as a book cover.

Interestingly, there are swarms of devoted readers who refuse to buy books that look like movies, even though the words inside are still the same. Many readers consider it a massive pet peeve to buy a book with actors on them.

When I checked out a copy of the Count of Monte Cristo at my local library last week, I briefly considered getting the abridged version because the full version had a photo of thespian Robert Donat on the cover and I didn’t particularly want to stare at Robert Donat in the role of Edmund Dantes, mostly because my mental image of Dantes looks nothing like Donat.

Not only are there readers who despise seeing the NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE tagline on their books, there are some who are equally annoyed with OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB stickers and other little extras that sometimes befall the cover of a good book.

I’m not sure what it is. Some say it’s because a movie cover implies that the book is based on the movie, rather than the other way around. Others insist that they don’t want their vision of the characters tainted by the insights of Hollywood.

Here’s what I do know: my Edmund Dantes looks nothing like Robert Donat. So basically there’s just a strange guy with a sword on the cover of my library book.

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