‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. We’ve all heard this expression numerous times in different situations. The phrase often goes beyond referring to books even if we don’t want to admit. We judge an individual’s personality with their outward appearance, an appliance or object if it can accomplish a task, whether an animal appears gentle or aggressive, a new food’s taste, and many other situations where we must look beyond only appearances. In this case, I examine only books. What made you stop and pick up the book?
I love bookstores and libraries as I gaze upon rows of bookcases and displays. As I tilt my head along the bookcase and examine the books’ spine there are only a few things I have at first glance: book title, general appearance, and size. Let’s be honest, those bright, flashy, and colorful books scream: ‘Look at me, look at me’. Whereas the monotone and subdued books perhaps state: ‘Ignore the flashy adolescent, instead I’m a book with substance’. Of course, this isn’t the case since a book’s ‘substance’ and ‘worth’ is not measured by its cover. A book’s size doesn’t affect me too much, since I’ve read great short and long books. Sometimes a creative and interesting title pulls my attention. I’m even guilty of doing this on Amazon.com looking quickly at a book’s cover if it has flowers, swirls, dark shadows, bold print, a damsel in distress, a knife with blood, ocean waves, young children, symbols, city background, or nothing but the title.
Where do you ‘classify’ those books with a worn spine, faded paper, creases, stains, and no dusk jacket? I think those books are mysterious and hold secrets. This book states to the world: ‘Look past what I don’t have and my faded appeal, because my wear shows I’ve been loved and enjoyed by many’. A book doesn’t need to be flashy for greatness.
Even if we claim otherwise, a book’s outward look often describes its genre. For example, you’re not likely to discover romance inside a book with a bloody knife on the cover, well perhaps deep heartache. The title and appearance are a ‘sneak peak’ at the treasure deep inside. However, take a chance and pick up that book that turns you off or is nondescript for you may be in for a surprise.
When summer occurs, new and fresh senses interweave which creates an environment that happens for a short period. Many of our senses overlap which creates an even more overpowering sensual experience. What’s your favorite sense that captures summer to you?
Sight: We want to remember our summer experiences and vacations, so of course numerous photos are taken as a snapshot ‘vision’ for the day. The days are now longer with more light to enjoy. Bright colors are found in flowers, swimsuits, patio tablecloths, sunsets, and our favorite summer fruits and tropical drinks. People are seen bike riding, swimming, playing volleyball, running through the sprinklers, sunbathing, preparing food on the grill, boating, setting up the tent, or walking through the park.
Sound: The sense of sound during the summer can be heard throughout the day. Do you have your loose change ready when you hear the familiar songs of the ice cream truck? The loud lawn mower can be heard from your neighbor’s yard to the community park. Laughter and screams of delight are heard when playing outside games. The refreshing sound of a water splash when jumping into a pool. At the beach, we hear the boat’s motor in the distance and water hitting upon the shore.
Smell: So often the phrase: “Oh, what’s that smell?” doesn’t bring the best thoughts, since we normally think of awful smells such as garbage or smelly socks. When I walk outside into a perfect summer day and close my eyes certain smells drift and make me smile. I’m lucky that I have no allergies. Walk near a park, garden, or neighbor’s yard and smell the aroma of fresh-cut grass. True this summer smell occurs year round, but most frequently smelled during this season. Continue on your walk or into a campground and smell the charcoal of a barbeque.
Taste: The sense of taste may be the most fun. Many summer foods are only available or at their peak during this time. Go on, let the peach juice dribble down your chin. Bite into sweet corn and get cornels in your teeth. Pop the pits out of cherries. Savor a cold glass of sweet lemonade on a hot summer day. Lick a delicious ice cream cone or popsicle.
Touch: The sense of touch sometimes gets lost behind, but there are certain touches that occur mainly in the summer months. I don’t think many feel the rough feeling of sand between our toes or squishy sand when wet in January. The warm heat on our skin defines those hot summer days. (Just remember to enjoy the heat with a strong sunblock.) Dip into the pool, lake, ocean, or river and cool off in refreshing water. (Remember to be safe with life vests and supervision.)
Enjoy the last month of summer with all your senses!