Friday September 04, 2015

Website wants you to judge books by their covers

(Photos courtesy of David Madison/Getty Images (left) and Nate Gagnon (right) )

Listen 5:16

A pair of Californians have launched a new site that asks people to judge books by their covers. It's called Judgey.

"I work in advertising. You get a lot of cliches and lines," co-founder Nate Gagnon tells As it Happens guest host Helen Mann. "So, we kind of thought that it would be funny if we could say go ahead and judge a book by its cover."

Users of the site are shown a series of covers and are asked to give a star-rating from zero to five. That grade is then compared to the Goodreads rating of the book's actual contents. 

PlayJudgey screenshot

A screenshot of playjudgey.com (Playjudgey.com )

The site launched last week and has since received around three million responses. Gagnon has come to the conclusion that people aren't very good at judging book covers.

"Most book covers got rated lower than what the book was actually rated by people who read it."

He thinks that is because "People will rate books higher that have read them because they have spent the time with it. They're in it."‚Äč

Yesterday, Gagnon's parter Dean Casalena released data about the ratings so far. That information reveals that the second worst rated book cover, at a 1.4 star rating, was Justin Bieber's biography. This contrasts with the 4.4 reader rating that it received on Goodreads. 

"It seems a little high, personally," says Gagnon. 

In the interview, Helen tries to judge a few book covers and doesn't do very well.  Gagnon suspects it's because she has a "discerning taste."

Take a listen to our interview. And, to see how you fare, visit the website here