What makes a good book stand out?


Peach sunset colours fade to soft rose and lavender over a somber sea. “The heavens declare the glory of God.”  Gulls screech and dance in the stiff onshore breeze while a lone eagle disappears in the distance.

I scuff through the sand and stones, always hopeful that I’ll discover a bit of sea glass. My daughter lives near here and has gathered a multi-hued collection. I’ve yet to find any.  But along the beach occasional shells stand out, white against the blue-grey stones.

On the outside oyster shells are a chalky unimpressive white. Inside they’re smooth and satiny, sometimes quite pearlescent. On rare occasions they might even contain a pearl. A treasure.

You know there’s an analogy coming, right?

Like the miles of beach stones and sand, there are millions of mediocre books on the market. What does it take to make one stand out? Some might suggest a great cover, but, while that would get me to pick it up, I’ll still turn it over to check for other things before deciding to keep it. I’ll be looking for something special inside, hoping to find a real treasure… a wonderful story written with passion about unique characters.

What are your requirements when you go looking for a new book? What makes a book stand out for you?


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
[Psalm 19:1 NIV]