I got this email the other day. I found it to be quite an odd approach to requesting a book. While it wasn’t offering any criticism, it certainly seems like it’s waiting in the wings. Even so, I’m not that concerned about a critique, but more so, just curious about the odd form in which this request has come. I would love your thoughts. In all seriousness, how would you handle this?:
I came across an excerpt from your book Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture and was impressed by what little I read. Could it be that in this commerce driven, fame orientated, country club christian culture, there is someone who is attempting to embrace the response to the question, asked so long ago, ”What do I still lack?” (Matt 19:20). I have been praying and searching ardently to know God and his path for me. I would like to read your book. Would you please send me a copy?
I am asking you to send it to me w/o charge. I am not asking for a free book, after reading it, I will pay you what I think it is worth. In my search to understand the bible and contemporary christian life I have quickly exhausted current christian literature. For the most part it is poorly written, repetitive, poorly researched and parochial.
I warn you that my library consists of books by men like St Augustine, Blaise Pascal, John Donne, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Thomas Merton, C. S. Lewis. If it cannot sit with these other books and be a source of continued inspiration, I will return it. If it is not worth the postage to return it, I will throw it in the trash. If, however, on the other hand — Matt 13:45
As an author, you have to come to grips that not everyone will like your work. That’s just part of the game. But, what do you think is going on in the brain of this person? How would you respond? Or would you?