Six Reasons to Read Good Books
Reading at Leisure Relaxes the Soul
In an age of non-stop action, setting aside leisure time for reading good books relaxes the inner you, your soul. I like the way Neil Gaiman states it: “There’s nothing like sitting down with a good book, and dog earring its pages and writing notes in its margins, when a particular passage or turn of phrase really lands. Books allow us to lose ourselves, and free our minds, if even for fleeting moments.”
Someone might protest that they do not have leisure time. True. We live in a fast paced world, and that is all the more reason to carve out leisure time. I read for a half hour to an hour almost every night. I know of people who work in the area and have their lunch at a local restaurant. They carry a book with them and use that time for reading a good book at leisure. Carry a book with you to the dentist office, the doctor’s office, or the place you have your car serviced. One simply has to have the will to carve out a bit of time to read at leisure.
Reading Gives Opportunity to Pause and Give Thought
Much of what people take in today they take in by way of television, videos, and the like. They view the story instead of reading the story. When you view the story you do not have time to think about the nuances of the content. Reading good books gives opportunity to pause and give thought to what is being taken in. Viewing a movie I may relax and enjoy it, laugh or cry, but I do not have time to think about why this part of a scene is important, or what the impact is on my mind, or whether or why some aspect might be good or bad. Reading good books gives “leisure” to stop and contemplate the content.
Reading Stimulates the Imagination
As I mentioned in my previous blog, Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island stimulated my imagination to act out my own pirate stories in my play and eventually to write pirate stories. Watching others act out a story on a screen has not had the same effect relative to stimulating my imagination. I have no data on the matter, but it seems to me that continually watching others act out stories tends to dull the imagination. We just want to go on to the next movie.
Of course, a major problem relative to stimulating the imagination by reading good books, is that kids tend to be attached to their i-phones and i-pads and simply do not read books. We need to groom children to love reading at an early age. To quote a Nord Anglia article: “A child’s reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.”
Reading good books opens the doors of their imagination—“all kinds of new worlds”—as well as doors to broadening their knowledge base in general.
Reading Exercises the Mind in Ways Viewing Does Not
Continuing the theme that reading good books needs to begin in childhood, I would quote from an article titled Five Reasons Why Reading Habits Are Important: “Reading is one of the most fundamental skills a child needs to learn to succeed in life. Developing good reading habits is vital to your child’s future, not just academically, but in everyday life as well.” The reading habits set forth in the article are worth considering, as they: Develop vocabulary; increase attention span; prepare for school; develops a lifelong love of books; encourage a thirst for knowledge.
Reading exercises the mind to better health in all of those ways. Viewing has its values, but not to the neglect of reading.
Reading broadens fields of insight, understanding and knowledge
For the most part, viewing tends to entertain a person. While reading entertains, it also allows time to take in the broader fields of insight woven into the fabric of the author’s story. Reading gives pause to deepen one’s understanding of the issues a story is built around. Reading also broadens our knowledge by allowing time for the elements within the story to sink in, to be effectively recorded in the brain’s permanent memory.
In reading Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe, I got insight into the evils of prejudice that gave me a deeper understanding of people facing prejudice, and what I learned has stuck with me. It is imprinted in my memory.
Reading Can Stimulate Spiritual Insight
This point goes along with the previous point but focuses on the spiritual aspect. Reading good books written by solid Christian authors, both fiction and non-fiction, can cause a light to come on within and thus promote a deeper understanding of biblical truth. Non-fiction sets forth the truth in propositional or inspirational statements, while fiction sets forth truth in action, illustrating what truth rejected looks like, what truth lived out looks like, and the conflicts relative to truth created by the human condition.
The following quote is from an Inspiration Boost article, and although the article was not focused on the spiritual, I do like the quote: “When you are reading, you are actually gaining the knowledge and experience of someone. It can hasten your success towards a goal, as you don’t need to repeat the same mistake while focusing on the right path in achieving one thing. It’s like a mountain of gems for you to discover in books, which contain people’s successes, failures and advice.” All of my fiction is written with that intent in mind—fiction worth reading!
Wrapping It Up
I trust you are convinced of the benefits of reading good books and if you are a parent of grooming your children toward a lifelong love of reading.
My books are written from a foundation of a solid biblical worldview. They are books that entertain while feeding the soul. Following is a list of a few of my thirty plus books and why I believe they are worth reading.
Unveiling John’s Visions: An Intelligible Unfolding of the Book of Revelation – is an insightful, practical look at the book of Revelation
The God Question – is a presentation of reasons to believe that God is there.
Reflections of a Searching Soul: God Thoughts – is an exploration of numerous spiritual-life related subjects in essay form—some are short and some longer.
Imagine Christmas – an anthology of fun, and at times touching, stories for the whole family. I have had people buy numerous copies to give to family and friends for Christmas—a great gift both young and old will enjoy.
The Myth – a heart-wrenching and captivating fantasy story dealing with the emotional impact of social engineering—eliminate those who pose a burden to society.
Wanzalara’s Cottage – a classic fairytale that explores how all things can work for good, even emotional, physical and sexual abuse: A story in three movements about the goodness and grace of God.
The Helot – is a realm beyond fantasy story involving serving, faith, finding the essence of life, and grappling with temptation.
Seed of the Defiled – is an intriguing epic novel that explores the sovereign hand of Baruch (God) in a world of chaos created by the free-will choices of its inhabitants.
The Princess and the Orc – is an enchanting fantasy story exploring prejudice.
Tales of a Church Mouse – is an anthology of short stories about a church mouse that observes a variety of “church life” scenarios—fun while giving pause for thought.
I would enjoy hearing back from you.