Don’t judge a book by its cover … because sometimes the back and cover are by far the best parts of it, as Mr. Brownlow informed little Oliver Twist:
Oliver complied; marvelling where the people could be found to read such a great number of books as seemed to be written to make the world wiser. Which is still a marvel to more experienced people than Oliver Twist, every day of their lives.
‘There are a good many books, are there not, my boy?’ said Mr. Brownlow, observing the curiosity with which Oliver surveyed the shelves that reached from the floor to the ceiling.
‘A great number, sir,’ replied Oliver. ‘I never saw so many.’
‘You shall read them, if you behave well,’ said the old gentleman kindly; ‘and you will like that, better than looking at the outsides,–that is, in some cases; because there are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.’
‘I suppose they are those heavy ones, sir,’ said Oliver, pointing to some large quartos, with a good deal of gilding about the binding.
‘Not always those,’ said the old gentleman, patting Oliver on the head, and smiling as he did so; ‘there are other equally heavy ones, though of a much smaller size. […]’
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (1838)
Featured Image by George Cruikshank (1846) http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/cruikshank/ot6.html