Nobody knows who coined the maxim "you can't judge a book by its cover". But it would come as no surprise if the creator of that cliche turned out to be a moralist who simply laced pearls of wisdom and used a book cover as a metaphor.
In reality, some readers do pay attention to a book's cover. More than a few buy books simply because of the cover jackets. Bibliophiles know that the jacket, typeface, quality of binding and even the scent and texture of the paper are integral parts of the reading experience, like a birthday gift in beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons.
Such an emotional attachment _ or love affair _ for physical books is becoming obsolete. Sales of books have been in a steady decline, while the volume of e-book downloads is constantly rising. For the first time, sales of e-books for Amazon's Kindle surpassed those of hardbacks and paperbacks, Britain's The Guardian reported in August.
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