According to official statistics, the number of online book sales has soared
over the past year or so, although physical book sales have fallen. I love
books, and although I usually take my e-reader on holiday I still prefer the look
and feel of a real printed book.
What is it that attracts you to a book?The
author, perhaps, or the title, or maybe just the look of the sleeve?
Personally, I will probably take all three criteria into consideration. But the
point is, until I’ve started to read (or even finished) my book it’s difficult
to know whether I will enjoy it or not – and I have given up on a few.
So is that maybe how you tend to judge a book, by
its title…by the cover? If that’s the case, how do you judge people? By
how they look, or perhaps by what they do? And do you sometimes change your
mind once you’ve got to know them better? Or do you still base your opinion on
your first impression?
I must admit I used to do that…’don’t like the
look of him/her/them’. Being a naturally reserved type (officially!) I would
just not engage with the person/s concerned, which has occasionally been
embarrassing for whoever else I have been with. Well, let’s be honest, it was
just downright rude. If we want to know what someone is really like, surely we have to give them a chance to prove –
or disprove – our original thoughts and opinions. Just as we would with a book.
Jane Austen’s best known work is arguably ‘Pride
and Prejudice’. However, its original title, rejected by her publisher, was ‘First
Impressions’. Don’t judge someone by their first impression. Don’t be too proud
or too prejudiced until you’ve looked a little more
The Bible tells us that we are all made in God’s
image. So when we look in a mirror, we see, not just ourselves, but God. The
rock star Liam Gallagher, of all people, put it so well: ‘Every time I look in
the mirror, God looks back’.
If that applies to us all, and God looks back at
us, shouldn’t we at least give him a chance to prove himself, rather than
simply looking away?
Revd Gary Williamson