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A Good Read


Anna and I were in Scotland when I finally finished a heavy non-fiction book I had been lugging around. I decided my next book would be a light, non-confrontational piece of fiction.

So off to the bookshop I go. Before long I’m pouring over shelves and displays, looking at titles and authors and cover designs. Nothing grabs my attention. So off to another bookshop, and another bookshop, and another bookshop.

After a few days I take the plunge and walk out of a shop with The Crossing by Andrew Miller. It turned out to be a meandering tale of dysfunctional characters navigating tragedy and hope – complete with a very modern partially resolved ending and a dusting of fantasy. Was I satisfied? It was OK. It was a read.

Why did I pick this book? I wish I knew. Perhaps it was the cover art, the blurb, the title, who knows. On reflection, instead of searching bookshop shelves, I wish I had a recommendation from someone I trusted. That would have saved me a lot of time and perhaps provided a more satisfying read.

Now compare book shopping with Bible reading. Why would anyone pick up a Bible and start reading? The Bible is a big book. It’s an old book from another culture. And let’s face it, where do you start?

What people need is a recommendation from a trusted friend. Even better would be the offer to sit down and read with them – make it relational. It’s a good book. Indeed, it’s the best book. If it’s changed your life, perhaps you should recommend it to others.