I’ve been reading mainly ebooks the last few years, and not all will have covers – it’s the blurb that’s more important when looking to request a galley. I have noticed that Netgalley (where I get most of mine from) is now putting more focus on the covers when putting them out for offer, and are asking for feedback when requesting the book. Edelweiss and Librarything however, currently aren’t asking about the effect of the cover
As for physical books, the aesthetic is much more important. The paper, the cover …. will it survive the handbag for 2 weeks?! There are hardbacks that will be never taken on the commute…..(my handbag and shoulder won’t cope with the weight!). The cover can affect whether I will pick up a book or not – I’ve been known to pick up a certain copy of Jane Eyre purely because of the bland cover as I knew I could shove it in the handbag and not worry about the coffee stains. Some covers will put me off a book, some will attract me to at least picking it up, but ultimately it’s either the author or the blurb that attracts me to adding a book to my shelf.
Books like the Persephone Greys are a joy to feel, and it’s a mixture of the paper they’re printed on, the bookmark that is individual to the book and which matches the front and back piece. I rarely have to have books with matching covers. Persephone Greys apart of course! I have got a set of Jane Austen books that were on sale in a bookshop (3 for 2 or something) and it seemed rude not to pick up all 6 to match! When the Terry Pratchett books came out I’ve always tried to get the hardbacks to add to my collection, as there will be a certain style to the dustjacket