Under Cover

Question of the day: Have you ever been embarrassed to buy a book?

I rode my bike over to the Barnes & Noble and while browsing around, I remembered that today is the release day for a book by an author whose blog is very funny (Read her summary of Star Trek here). So, it's a YA novel, and I felt a little wooly about being a big old sweaty man walking around in the teen section of the bookstore. But I got over that. I mean, the bike shorts and helmet explain the sweatiness and I didn't realize until later that I haven't shaven this week (working from home until tomorrow, dontcha know).

Unfortunately, the publishers put a cover on the book that I found difficult to approach the register with. I don't think I'm normally so self-conscious, but the pouty lips on this guy are a little much. Here it is, Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon, strapped to the back of my bike:

The Demon's Lexicon strapped to a bicycle

I was reminded of the "adult" covers for Harry Potter books in the UK. They weren't covered with sexy people - not that kind of "adult" -- but they also didn't have a kid wizard waving a wand around. I think I remember one being just an older car flying through the clouds. Oh, yes, here it is from Amazon:

Now, that's a respectable cover. At the time, I scoffed: who cares if there's a bunch of flames and dragons on the cover of the book you're carrying on the Metro? But then I was presented with lip-boy here, and I have changed my mind: It'd be nice if they did this for everybody's books. Sarah says in her blog that there's "no eternal romance to speak of," so I screwed up my courage and bought the book anyway.

Along the ride home, I thought I'd go check out the end of the WB&A trail that I hadn't seen before. (Someday it might go all the way through to Odenton and then you can ride to BWI and Annapolis along the trail, but for now it stops near the old racetrack.) I like the boardwalk toward the other end (plus culverts are cool. (Temperature-wise, I mean. Nice to breeze through on such a hot day.))

Boardwalk on WB&A Trail

At the entrance from Route 197, I was greeted by this interesting sign:

Gun Club Sign

I don't know if it's really trying to tell me that the gun club is ahead on the trail for my safety, but I felt a little nervous along the way. I didn't hear any gunshots, but I was still glad that I'd turned the book over on my bike rack:

book on bicycle

I'm looking forward to reading this book, but I might take the paper off. There's a cool sword underneath.

Have you ever been self-conscious about carrying around a book with a particular cover?

Updated to Add: Apparently, I've been worried about a cover before on this blog.

3 thoughtful messages from friendly readers:

lacochran said...

He is awfully pouty. :)

I haven't been embarrassed about a book since junior high when I was harassed by someone at school for carrying around something so trashy.

Mike said...

I don’t have an embarrassing book buying tale to tell, but I do have a story from the WB&A trail. I have a video from a family walk along the trail next to the gun range. As shots rang out, my wife engaged in a bad acting job pretending that she was being shot. Bodily harm will come to me if the video ever makes it past the family computer.

AbbotOfUnreason said...

@lac - are you saying I'm acting like a junior higher?

@mike - ah, but how will she ever know?