Judging a Book

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”books

I can’t remember the first time I heard that axiom, but I know it was a long, long, long time ago.  In general, I think it’s a pretty good rule.  When it comes to people, it’s mostly good to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Jumping to conclusions is not always the best way to get one’s exercise.

I’ve been learning there is some wisdom in disregarding that advice when it comes to actual books.

I got a Kindle for Christmas.  I love my Kindle.  Over the course of the last four and a half months I’ve accumulated close to 200 books on it.  Of those 190+ books,  I paid 25 cents for one.  That’s it 25 cents.  I have my own portable library.  I love it.

During my last lengthy overseas trip I read at least 10 books.   (Yes, I spent hours and hours on planes and in airports—prime reading venues!)  I would never have carted 10 bound books all over the world for an almost 5 week trip.

I’ve learned that different authors and publishing houses play numbers games with the Kindle and pricing.  A book will appear on the Kindle Bestsellers list for $0.oo (I picked up 3 at that price about 5 minutes ago) and a few days later it will be considerably more expensive.  The bargain hunter in me tries to check that list at least once a day.

Besides for free books, I’ve started to appreciate some new authors.   There are even some whose books I would pay for if I had to!

I have also learned that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.  I could have even more books if I wanted them.  There are some books I don’t need to read.  By looking at their cover and sometimes their title, I know without a doubt they’re not literary works with any redeeming value.  A willowy woman wearing nothing discernible sandwiched between two men with impossible muscle definition (and really it was a sweeping glance as I scrolled down the page of thumbnail photos of book covers) pretty much screams “SKANKY ROMANCE.”  My guess is it’s probably weighted more on the side of skank than it is on the side of romance.

Other books have much more innocuous pictures but the banner proclaiming “Romance” is a pretty safe bet that it’s not for me.  And their are others that look like they might be a nice  light read, but their publisher’s name lets me know this isn’t anything I want to read.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for romance!  I keep alive the hope it will find me one day.  I know myself.  I know romance novels, be they of the secular or christian genre or any other variety, are not healthy reading choices for me.  (That could be a whole post in and of itself.)

As I scout out books—for my Kindle or any other kind—I am thankful that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

photo courtesy of Jenny Addison

3 responses to “Judging a Book”

  1. Can you explain how the kindle thing works? Do you get stuff from Amazon? Or does it come through itunes or something like that? Would love to get one but want to know for SURE how it works and IF it will work from Africa…

    What is THE best book you have read since you got it? Which one do you wish you had NOT wasted your time on??

    Also, can you change font size in case you age and your eyes go bad?? Not that this would happen to either of US of course. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this, Sheryl. Although I dislike lugging books on trips, I’ve resisted the Kindle. Tell me — how is it in the sun for beach reading? I love the feel of a book and suppose you do too. Was it tough to get over that? Or is that a non-issue?

  3. The Kindle only works with Amazon. Most books are $9.99 or less, and if they are initially more expensive, they usually come down to the $9.99 price point. Some books start at $0.00 and then jump up to the $9.99 (or somewhere in between) price. I downloaded new books in Europe. I have the global edition. You’d have to check out the map on Amazon about where the coverage for it is. I believe Dakar is covered. I believe you can download it to your computer anywhere you have access and then transfer it to your Kindle (haven’t tried that yet). Doing that would save you the $1.99 fee for using the “whisper net” outside the USA. It’s $1.99 per time not per book—so I loaded about 15 books for that $1.99. Truthfully, I’d forgotten about it, so I can’t complain.

    Yup—you can change the font size so no one has to see your glasses! 🙂

    The best book I’ve read on it so far? That’s a tough one. My Name is Russell Fink by Michael Snyder and The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher: A Novel by Rob Stennett are two that I really enjoyed that I probably never would’ve picked up if they hadn’t been free for my Kindle. I’ll definitely be on the look out for other books by those authors. They’re Christians, but definitely outside of most Christian fiction. Snyder’s had a hint of Faulkner about it. Stennett’s was eerily almost true.

    Complete waste? Petals from the Sky by Mingmei Yip. While it did give me a glimpse into the workings of Buddhist thought, it pretty much sucked up hours I’ll never get back. I kept thinking there was going to be a point or redemption and there never was.

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