Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reading Widely

I realize that not everyone is a reader. If you are not, don't despair, it doesn't make you less of a person. Sometime a person wants to be something that they will probably never be. For instance, I would like to a person who is good at constructing and fixing things. It would be very nice! But alas, I don't think it's in my makeup. There are too many details involved in such things and I am more of a big picture person. And if you are not a reader that is fine, stop punishing yourself. But I digress.

For those of you who are readers; those of you who enjoy reading and read a fair amount (at least a book every month or two) I would like to encourage you to do something.

Read widely!

In other words be curious. A good book is a good book and there are lots out there. What kind of books do you read the most?

1. Fiction or non fiction?
2. Christian or non-Christian?
3. Those you agree with or those you don't?
4. Topics you are familiar with or those you are not?
5. Familar authors or those unknown to you?

I know several avid readers (people who read more then one book a month, usually 2 or 3) who only read one kind of book! For some it is theology. Others Christian romance. Another reads only fantasy. Others I've seen include self help, biographies, history, cookbooks (yes they are technically books), graphic novels/comics, wealth building books, craft books, politics, social issue books, adventure books, etc. So what makes a person just stick to one kind of book? My theories include such things as familiarity, mild addiction, safety, ignorance, peer pressure, professional interest, and of course pleasure (the kind of pleasure you get when you order your "usual" from a restaurant you frequent often).

When I think of reading though, I think of myself as an explorer. I want to explore distant lands and read things I've never considered. My current reads include Stephen Covey's "First Thing's First", Billy Graham's biography "Just As I Am," and "The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy." I'm also deeply engrossed in a book on a totally new subject matter: nutrition. "The China Study" is changing all of my preconceived notions on what eating healthy (and preventing cancer) is all about. I'm loving it, even though it is something totally new for me.

Readers, hear my plea. Stretch yourself a little. When you visit a bookstore, meander a little bit. Linger in your favorite areas yes, but let your feet take you to the places there you visit rarely. Pick up some books on a new topic and leaf through them. You might be surprised on what you find. I love it when a person comes into Olive Garden and pauses before they order. "Usually I always get the same thing," the say hesitantly, "but today I think I'm going to try something new." Ordering an unknown dish or reading an unknown type of book (or author) might be a risk sometimes, but it is usually worth it. What's the worst that can happen?

May Light increase!

P.S. The painting is Canadian explorer Jacques Cartier, done by Fran├žois Riss.


Lindsey Dueck said...

Eric reads me out of house and home. He will read pretty much anything. I still have a hard time picking out books for him though, probably cause it has to sound interesting to me. I usually go for cover appeal. I am so superficial....lol

Mark said...

Ah, cover appeal. There is something to be said for that. I find a terrible cover can almost ruin the experience of some books.

Liane said...

I love to read any kind of book. Though I can't afford to spend too much money on books, that's why I research first. Especially with christian books. I don't like to buy something that goes against what the bible teaches, etc.

Michele said...

I like to read a little of everything although I do have my favorites. I'm also one for cover appeal. If the outside looks good, I'm more interested in reading it.