This article states what seems obvious to me: readers really do judge a book by its cover:
â€œBOOK LOVERS MAY NOT BE the most heroic members of the romantic world, but at least, we tell ourselves, we are deep, we are discerning. Well, I have news for you from publishingâ€™s bottom line: we bespectacled creatures of the late-night night light are, frankly, a bit slutty.
All the research shows that consumers are very, very influenced by the covers, not necessarily to buy a book, but to pick it up,â€ Joanna Prior, publicity and marketing director at Penguin, says.
Studies show that a book on a three-for-two table has about one and a half seconds to catch a readerâ€™s eye. If it is picked up, it is on average glanced at for only three to four seconds.