Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books

Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
by Tony Reinke ISBN 978-1-4335-2226-0
A review of the book that I did for the Amazon Vine Program.

As someone that loves to read, it tends to be a bit frustrating when you get together with Christian people and other than their Bible (I’m making the assumption that they read them), they only seem to read "Christian" books. As if the act of picking up a non-Christian book and discussing it would be a bit on the sinful side. I have always disliked so-called Christian romance novels because they are written with dialogue that is totally unrelated to how people actually talk. Therefore, I was greatly interested in what Tony Reinke had to say about Christians and reading. The first good thing is that he is not only for Christians to be reading a variety of topics, they don't have to be the Christian romance novel drivel that many women tend to read or pretend to read. I don't really know as I can't wade through those books.

Then he goes on to not only encourage a reading plan but what types of books would be good to read and ways to make time to read (hint: turn off the TV), ways to share reading with your spouse and children. He encourages you to write in your books as long as you own them. Ways to learn and grow by reading the right kinds of books including books by the great theologians, fiction, fantasy, non-fiction books of every sort except for books such as pornography that you know before you pick them up that they have no redeeming value. His book is easy to read and comprehend. By following his guidelines you can better understand your Bible and God's purpose for your life and be educated enough that you can have a proper worldview. As your knowledge increases through reading, you will better be able to stand up and explain your faith to others.

I would highly recommend this book to any Christian adult that seriously desires a closer understanding of God and the world. The only thing that I think he missed in the book is study aides and I'm not meaning things like Cliff's notes. Over the last 10 years I have collected a small reference library which has helped my reading tremendously and includes a large dictionary (well actually my husband and I both have our own big, fat dictionary), a thesaurus, English to French, German, Spanish, etc. dictionaries, a US and world atlas, and if possible a good set of encyclopedias. Before you holler and say, "Hey that is expensive!", we were able, by going to library book sales and yard sales over the years, to get these reference works plus others for around $25 total. This way when you run into a word you don't know you can look it up. If a book mentions a famous person and you don't know who they are, look them up. If it mentions a place you don’t know where it is, look it up. You will be educating yourself and the information will stick in your mind and help you understand what you have read.

Reading has always been my favorite activity and my reading skills have given me a very broad base of knowledge that was useful in school and now as an adult. Even if you don’t like to read much, reading this book and following the advice in it, should start you on the path to enjoying reading more and gaining knowledge that you never thought was possible. If you have children in your home, following the guidance in this book will help you instill a love of books and learning into your children.