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Judging a book by its cover

Judging a book by its cover

(Project 365 Day 173)

I still remember finding this book at my local public library. I think I was drawn to it by the image of an intrepid girl backpacking her way around the galaxy. Turns out it was the third book of the Foundation Trilogy, often named the best science fiction trilogy of all time. I ended up reading them in reverse order the first time through. :P

It was the first Isaac Asimov book I had read, and I became totally obsessed with Asimov in my teenage years. Two concepts of his have stuck with me all these years: (1) Complexity. his stories often involved multiple parties each trying to achieve their own goals, but once their plots interacted, the outcome wouldn't be what anyone anticipated, though it would of course be perfectly logical. That's kind of how I see life. (2) Clarity. I loved Asimov's direct style of writing. He was never big on poetic flourishes; he always just wanted to get the ideas straight through, and that's what I aspire to in my writing. (Yes, I know this post is ironically somewhat long-winded. :P)

I had considered buying a copy of the Foundation Trilogy and re-reading it for a while now, but the new covers always felt kinda cheesy to me, and they made the books seem different, somehow, less appealing. I mean, take a look at the recent covers on Amazon. Then one day I noticed this used copy with that cover from the 80s that drew me in originally, and I finally bought it. (It took me a while, rummaging through used book stores, to find copies of the other two books from the same edition, but I eventually did.)

I judged this book by its cover, and it lead to the wonderful world of Asimov, so I feel attached to it, I guess. But then, I also still buy physical CDs because I think the album cover art affects my appreciation of the music. So maybe I'm just weird. :)

And in the end, it's also just a wonderful cover.

(P.S.: I noticed that the glow from my lamp was just about the right size to put a halo around the image. I think it makes for a nifty effect. :) )

Update: Hm, you know what? I'm terrible at remembering the plots of books, and, despite the fact that the Foundation Trilogy are nominally my favorite books, I can't actually remember a thing about what this girl actually does in the book. But I do vividly remember this cover and all the ideas and emotions that it evoked the first time I saw it. I guess I'm just a visual person.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 11, 2007.

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