Don't judge a book by its cover...judge it by the first sentence! | The Hospice of St. Francis

Don't judge a book by its cover...judge it by the first sentence!

By Bridget McKenna, Chapter Two Bookshop Assistant Manager I am lucky enough to be responsible for the fiction section of Chapter Two, and I never cease to be amazed at the diverse range of our donated books.


I have always enjoyed reading an eclectic mix of books but have discovered I am definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover and can be drawn in hook, line and sinker if I like the look of it.

At Chapter Two we sell First Sentence Books. These are wrapped in brown paper with the first sentence only displayed on the front. These have proved very popular making a great present for someone, especially someone you don’t know terribly well; you can deny all responsibility saying you were lured in by the first line, and how were you to know the story went downhill fast?

My favourite book as a child was called My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. It tells the story of 12 year old Sam Gribley who runs away from his crowded family apartment in New York City to his great-grandfathers long abandoned farm in the Catskill Mountains in New York State where he teaches himself survival skills to live off the land. I found the book difficult to put down, pure escapism for me and inspired me to make attempt making flour from acorns, not a success!

As an adult, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, a worldwide popular choice .  I still find myself seeking it out at times like an old comfortable friend occasionally surprising my self by discovering something new in the text. More recently was “ Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, set in the marshes of North Carolina following the twists and turns of a young girl called Kia.. The book is rich in description and made me wanting to find out more about the area and time it was set, always a good sign.

Every book has its perfect reader, it just depends who picks it up, be it a hefty biography, a bodice ripping romance or a Beginners Guide to the Didgeridoo, there is something for everyone.

Enjoy your reading!

Bridget McKenna, Chapter Two Bookshop Assistant Manager