It's sound advice the world over, but one man disregarded it at the weekend, and went straight ahead and committed himself to something he might have been better advised to have put off until he'd had time to do some more research.
"Never judge a book by its cover" is a phrase used in a wide context to alert us to the dangers of making a decision about another person on visible evidence only, and before we've had a reasonable chance to make a solid assessment of his or her character.
Moys Kenwood, 55, considered this advice whilst he was in a bookshop in Hull city center perusing 'Life Of Pi' by Yann Martell, and found that, by ignoring the sage advice, he had made a big mistake.
He inspected the book closely, reading the 'blurb' on the back cover with interest. Several American newspapers' names were used, along with the word 'BESTSELLER'.
Also in upper case characters, was the announcement:
MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION COPIES SOLD
A quote from the Los Angeles Times Book Review read:
"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction"
The publishers themselves noted:
"Universally acclaimed upon publication, 'Life of Pi' is a modern classic."
Kenwood bought the book, and started to read it as soon as he arrived home. What he found, though, was that the book did not - as the Los Angeles Times Book Review had said it would - make him believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction. Nor, in his opinion, was it a modern classic.
A book expert we spoke to, said:
"The blurb on a book cover is bullshit designed to con you into buying it. Have you ever read anything on the back cover of a book that says it is terrible, and that you shouldn't buy it? No, of course not. You should never be so gullible as to judge a book by its cover."