Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover

I was asked recently, "What influences you to read a book?" Perhaps my immediate response was shallow and non-thinking. I look at the cover and determine if it’s worth opening the page. But what do I see that makes that determination? Is it just the picture, or the layers of intrigue or the unfinished questions? I can usually pick out a book by a certain publisher; their style and photography have their own fingerprint. Other books I put down because of their simplistic drawings and homey appeal, many by another predictable publisher.

Have I missed good books by judging too sternly?

How do you choose a book? What draws you to pick up one book over another? Can we truly say that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? When you look at a cover, what makes you pick up the book and say, “I’ll read this”? Or “I don’t think so.”  Is it just the cover design and picture?

What storyline grabs you and draws you to start reading before you’ve purchased the book or left the library? What criteria must a book meet for you to say, “This looks like a good one”? Do you look for action, mystery, unanswered questions, relationships, a fairytale book to allow you to escape and show you something works out well?

What book, even if it is not your normal book category, grabbed you and demanded that you read it…and you were not sorry?

Perhaps the response is as varied as the people that read…but is there a common thread that leads all readers to one book? The book that says it all.

The Founding Fathers desired that all men could read so that they could read the Bible. It was their guidebook to instill responsibility, accountability, justice, and love toward mankind and God. Man was to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Has that one book changed?

What one book, would you recommend, above all others, for everyone to read for the answers to life’s problems, for the comfort to life’s sorrows, for the example of how to live life? Is the promise too good to be true? 

Perhaps this article hasn’t been my thoughts, but the questions of a wondering mind. I seek to look into the reader’s mind and see what book will grab them and not let me go even after they put it down and walk away? Your turn, tell me.

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
Three Book Series