The way I read has recently had a complete makeover. In September I started Theology at Trinity College and with that comes academic reading. It is no longer about what I read but why I read, how I read and the purpose of the book.
Even choosing books has become a completely new experience.
I love to wander into a bookshop and while away an hour browsing the shelves. I often pick up a book because initially the cover jumps out at me, or even just the colour and typeface on the spine. If the blurb on the back snags my imagination, I'll flick through the pages. My decision is finalised on the size of the text, layout and sub headings that jump off the pages. It is very much a visual selection and choice.
I didn’t realise how much this was true until I selected my first academic books from the college library. In my starter pack came a list of, well honestly less than grabbing and appealing titles. Once I’d found them on the library computer and noted the number I went on the hunt. Walking into the room with floor to ceiling shelving, my heart leapt as my eye caught a colour, a title, an appealing spine or cover.
I passed them all and headed for the section that held my chosen books. This is slightly easier when studying part time because we have our own section with its own bookshelves. My noted books are not what I would have usually picked up, the covers were old fashioned and the titles were long and academic! Now I’m in the right section I can go back to my preferred method of selection - browsing!
It was tempting to put back the books I needed to read and pick up ones that appealed more to my visual judgement. I left with a handful of books I would never have chosen.
We all know a book cover is an important part of the book but it made me wonder about the books I'm missing out on. I've got a lot out of the books I've been reading, in fact some I have devoured in days. I would have missed these little treasures had I not been forced to pick them up.
I love the idea that seems to be very popular in bookshops at the moment of a 'Blind date with a book', just a vague genre and a challenge to read something new. Being a part of ACW means we do read book we may not have just picked up, but we read because we support each other.
Agonising over the cover of our own books is all too real. I am currently working on a devotional bible study series which will hopefully be four books by Christmas and the covers are giving me the most trouble. Does it reflect the content and draw the eye? Maybe I will wrap them in brown paper and just write 'Come and get deeper with God!'
I'd love to hear about how you choose books and your own struggles with designing a book cover. And I want to challenge you to read something new - let me know where it takes you.
Tania Vaughan started Let's Talk About Ministries after writing her book "Let's Talk About Sex and Relationships - A Bible study for single women".
Through devotionals, mentoring and teaching, Tania seeks to encourage every woman to claim the full life that Jesus came to give them.
Living in relationship with Jesus is a range of devotional Bible studies coming soon!
Online devotions and her blog can be found on her website www.taniavaughan.com