You can’t judge a book by its cover if it doesn’t have one. That’s the point of a story in today’s New York Times, on how e-books make it impossible to see what other people are reading on the subway or the airplane.
The problem, such as it is, may be bigger. When I visit the homes of friends, I always try to look at the books they put on their shelves, assuming they have any. Maybe you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge people by the books they keep around themselves. At least I like to think so. If we start storing manuscripts on digital readers, however, I may just have to ask people what they like to read.