The Roar

1984: A Blind Date with a Book

Sometimes readers are too quick to judge a book by its cover, and a blind date with a book is the perfect way to remedy this issue


I’ll admit it, I often decide whether to read a book based on the appearance of its cover. Novels that have colorful designs or pictures on the front entice me more than those that simply say the title and the author because the graphics give insight into what kind of story I will be reading. However, I realized that by literally “judging every book by its cover,” I’m missing out on some great stories that compensate for their boring covers. So, I decided to go on a blind date with a book.

Libraries throughout the country have been adopting the idea of the blind date with a book in which a collection of different books are covered with wrapping. In fact, the PFHS librarians have followed suit for many of the ninth grade English classes. This process prevents individuals from deciding not to read a book based on the design of the book’s cover, and provides readers with the opportunity to expand the genre of books that they read. It is likely that the reader will discover a new type of story that they enjoy but would never have read if they had seen the cover.

My date began when a fellow writer for The Roar introduced me to a medium-sized book that was finely-wrapped in white construction paper. I had absolutely no idea what the title of the novel was or what the cover looked like.

I read the first quarter of the book (70 pages) and discovered the story was about a man named Winston Smith who is living in London in the 1980s in a dystopian society under a government called “the Party.”  It is a tyranny in which there is no freedom or liberty of any sort and human relationships are meant to be emotionless. Winston is not sure that he agrees with the way the Party functions, but how far he’s willing to go to express his opinions may cause problems for him in the future.

I was very intrigued by the concept of the book because the society that Winston Smith lives in is the opposite of how we live today. The descriptions of the meticulous manner in which Smith must operate in order to prevent the discovery of his unorthodox thoughts by his coworkers are detailed. Yet, the book started to get a bit boring by page 30 since nothing dramatic happened and the descriptions of the restricted society continued to drag on.

Although the book is a bit dull during the first quarter, I have decided that I want to continue reading it. I see a lot of potential in the story for drama, revolution, and maybe a hidden love-story; because of this. Will Winston be able to create change within the Party? Or will his unorthodoxy be discovered, leading to his death?

I decided to unwrap the book and see if my opinions would change based on the cover and the title. It turned out to be 1984 by George Orwell, which I had previously thought was a boring historical story that I would not have read. The cover was plain, off-white with a green border, and the title was slightly unique as it was written using different colors and bubble letters.

My opinion about the book has not changed based on the name and cover because it doesn’t make me any less interested in what will happen to Winston. The cover does not attract my attention, yet I’m glad that I had the opportunity to read it.

I’m glad that I went on a blind date with a book because it taught me that the cover of a book doesn’t always represent its contents. It has expanded my mind by making me consider how my life could be different if I lived in a society such as the one under the Party, and I would go on another blind date with a book to find another book that would introduce me to other enjoyable genres of reading.



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