Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thoughts on Reading

Where have all the good readers gone? Some lament the end of good books; I don't think that is true. We are in an age that not only produces good new books (albeit with a truckload of garbage tales), but we are also at a point in history where we have an accumulation of amazing books over centuries of publishing.

My lament is over the nature of reading itself. There is nothing wrong to read for pleasure. But we are in trouble if that is the only reason we read. There is nothing wrong with reading to be acquainted with the worlds of thought. But we are in trouble if that is the only reason we read. There is nothing wrong with reading to enter into dialog with other human beings for fun, work, and critical reflection. But we are in trouble if that is the only reason we read.

My suggestions:
  1. Read to grow as a person. Read proven (old) books that make you think. Read history (so it is not repeated). Read non-fiction books on character development.
  2. Read award-winning books...not just best-sellers.
  3. Read books that are too deep to ever make it to the screen.
  4. Read books aloud with others.
  5. Read simultaneously with other readers and plan to express thoughts. (book clubs exist, but often you may need to create your own)
  6. Read outside your preferred interests and vocation.

Oh, and please, please, keep reading for pleasure as well. But what you may find out is that reading with intentionality (like suggested in #1-6) may be even more pleasurable (the less carnal and thus more redeemable version of pleasure).

No comments: