I was recently asked to share what I read on a forum where others were sharing their favourite books. As I scrolled through the different messages listing books and authors I realised that what I read does not fit the ‘norm’ or most likely the ‘acceptable’. I am rather an oddbod but I’m used to living out here on my very own limb.
So what do I read that sets me out on my lonesome from many people? Well perhaps it’s what I won’t read that make the divide greater. I can not stand adult fiction and I’m not too interested in adult biographies either. Call me a prude but I just don’t like sexual or even romantic elements in a story and I am yet to find a decent adult title that doesn’t include these. It seems as integral as numbering pages and chapters in an adult title. Mind you some of the teen titles are getting this way too. When I read I want to read a great story, something that keeps you guessing, something with depth of character and something with a positive notion to learn from or year for. I know. I have high hopes and adult fiction isn’t reaching anywhere near it.
You might be thinking, ‘Why don’t you try some Christian fiction titles?’ Hmmm….well just recently I did. A friend lent me a big name quite popular title. I did enjoy it and it had a lovely message but the key thread of the story was sexual in nature (although it was allured to rather than explicitly described) and very much a romantic novel . Why is romance an issue? Well it seems wrong to me. As we read we become the character and virtually ‘fall in love with’ their heart throb, do we not? Don’t you sit there reading and thinking, “Oh he’s so wonderful”, “What a husband”, “He’s so gentle and sweet and hardworking and whatever”? Isn’t your heart becoming attached to them as you read? Might be a huge leap, but I’ve been thinking, isn’t it technically adultery. Didn’t Jesus say, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mat 5:28) Now I’m not saying, “Jesus says we can’t read romance novels”. I’m saying, that I don’t feel that romance (and definitively smutty stuff) is pure or noble such as is described in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Oh course I’m sure there are some Christian titles without all of this stuff so I’m not saying I wouldn’t read any adult fiction but I’m not likely to…unless someone recommended one.
‘What about biographies then?’ you might suggest? Well I’m not so sure on this front either. Not too many people who are having books written about themselves have true, noble, right, pure, lovely or admirable lives. In fact if they did, publishers probably wouldn’t bother with their story. The world wants to hear the nitty gritty, secret and sordid stuff behind the celebrities and well-known. I’d rather iron!! And let me tell you, that is saying something!! Hehehe.
Now there must be Christian biographies worthy of reading – Christ-like people who truly have done great things in their lives to help others. But I don’t think biographies is the genre that I would choose to read my way through. If I wanted to know about a great person’s life or a friend recommended a particular biography to me I’d probably read it but generally I’d find something else to read.
So what on earth do I read? Ah now that is easy. There are two things I love – information and a great children’s classic. I can not get enough of non-fiction titles. Specifically about things that I’m interested in at the moment. I’m always interested in faith, homemaking, parenting and homeschooling but I’ll happily go off on tangents and read about things that tickle my fancy at the time (things I’ve read in the past year or so) Australia history, the social order of elephants, the moon and the extraordinary ‘coincidences’ that make the moon-earth bond vital, the Amish and the way they live, the Titanic, Beethoven, Krakatoa and Jamestown as a small sampling. Usually I pick up a meatier title of a topic I’m learning about with the boys. Call it, “Homeschooling the Mummy” or “Getting the education I never did”. Hehehe.
Children’s books are my other dear favourite. This is my idea of a break from my heavier reading. In a ‘good’ children’s title you can be guaranteed of purity, if the book wasn’t published in the last twenty years or so that is. There are some really well written books for children. And if I don’t enjoy it as an adult than it’s probably too twaddlish for my children. My hubby loves reading children’s fiction too so I’m not totally out here alone on my oddbod limb. Some people go through all of their children’s books previewing them for appropriateness. Technically I do the same because I can’t help but read the titles waiting for my boys. Some times I restrain myself so we can enjoy a title together but mostly I’m just too weak-willed. Hehehe.
Are you wondering what on earth I am reading at present? Well I just finished, “Amish Values For Your Family” (delightful), “The Giver” (deep), “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning” (need to read a second time to soak up more knowledge) and “Courtship That Glorifies God” (want to read more like this). I’m currently reading “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m on” (with notebook in hand as every word is gold) and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” (not sure about the value of this one). And next I plan on reading, “What He Must Be…if he wants to marry my daughter” (sure to be full of insight) and “Repairing the Ruins” (really into true classical education at present).
Ah sooo many books and so little time in which to read them ALL. Ahhh but I’m going to give it a good try. 🙂