I have become more disciplined in my book-reading lately. During my schooling, my reading was handed down to me. Now, I get the privilege of reading what I desire.
I’ve tried different methods concerning what types of books I am reading, and I am trying to stay on a rhythm of reading at least one book a week right now. For me, that is a huge step-up from where I have been, but it is doable.
I got Tony Reinke’s book, Lit!: A Christian’s Guide to Reading Books because I wanted to hone the craft a bit.
Reading a book about reading books meant I had officially reached nerd-status.
After reading the book, I was never so happy to be a nerd!
Reinke did a great job of articulating a lot of what has been going on my mind but also pushing me in some further places which was much appreciated. He does a great job about the purpose of reading and then gives some practical tips on how and what to read. This volume was a true joy!
- Many authors are average (grass). Other authors are incredibly talented, fruitful, and colorful (flowers)…Man-made literature can help us live more wisely or grow spiritually, but only the God-inspired word is eternal (27).
- Faith in Jesus brings with it a critically important benefit for the Christian reader – discernment (35).
- It didn’t take long for Israel to abandon God’s Word in favor for a culturally-shaped image (41).
- …the most treacherous spiritual dangers arise from theologically twisted books written by wolves in sheepskins (60).
- My conviction is that non-Christian literature – at least the best of it – is a gift from God to be read by Christians (65).
- By using fantasy and engaging our imagination, God can reveal forces, communities, and struggles in a way that straightforward language cannot (86).
- So the Bible is rightly affirmed as the highest reading priority in the life of every Christian (94).
- The best books, the books that cover a topic well, are the books we respect, cherish, reread, and recommend to our friends (117).
- …fictional literature may prove at times to be more true than nonfiction (121).
- Nothing squanders time away more than pursuing things without a purpose. And given that the average American adult (18-34) invests only 10 minutes each day reading, yet watches 116 minutes of television, I think many of us have time that we can spend differently (134).
- Social media (like Facebook and Twitter) and online browsing patterns will train our minds to hunt for information in small, isolated bits (138).
- Active readers must not become cynics, but they must be critics (153).
- One great way to sink details deep into our long-term memory is to read and discuss books with friends (156).
- Read your books in front of your kids. Young children prize what they see their parents prize (167).
- Book-induced exhausting reveals a bigger failure, a negligence of wisdom (178).
Whether reading is your addiction or your phobia, this book is for you. A practical guide built on the gospel, Lit! models the skills needed to build a balanced reading diet of Scripture, theology, and devotional books, but without overlooking important how-to books, great stories, and books meant to be enjoyed for pleasure. Literature scholar Leland Ryken calls it “a triumph of scholarship,” but mostly it’s a non-pretentious book about reading from an average reader who wants to share important convictions and skills you can use for the rest of your luminously literate life.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.