In my 15.5 years at Green Apple, I have learned numerous valuable lessons: bad books hide good books, never drive on Clement Street, the customer is not always right but should be allowed to think so, and if you're comfortable with meat of an uncertain provenance, it can be cheaper to buy lunch in this neighborhood than to pack one from home. Here's another lesson I realized just today: there are more great book covers published each year than there are great books published each year.
It took a good book with a bad cover to make me realize this, and I'm not about to roam the store collecting good covers on bad books. . . .
Here's the book that made me realize this maxim, with apologies to New Yorker cartoonist Edward Koren. It's not Mr. Koren's fault. There's nothing wrong with his goofy drawing. It simply doesn't even remotely allude to what's inside: an insightful, readable, holistic take on contemporary behavioral economics and its relation to our current fiscal meltdown. While the text isn't dry (OK it's not exactly juicy), there's little whimsy in the contextualization of contemporary behavioral economics in the traditions of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. The authors are clear, and the book is very interesting (a longer blurb about the book itself, which is quite good, can be read here). But there's nothing therein that says to me "silly monkeys, hold on tight!"
Now I'm in the business of selling books, not joaning on them or their covers, but c'mon, Princeton University Press, why hide this interesting and insightful book behind hairy Sasquatchian man-apes clinging to a zig-zag? This is more like it, huh?