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

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