08 July 2016

For the Love of Reading

The world offers itself to your imagination.
- Mary Oliver

One of my favourite things in life is making readers of people who would not usually say they love to read. I feel that I have been given a love of books, reading, learning, and growing in knowledge and wisdom by God so that I share that love with others by encouraging good habits in reading.

My approach is subtle, but I try to promote books at every turn. And not just reading easy books that contain only a trite plot that keeps the pages turning, though sometimes those are what can start someone on a good trend of reading in general, but good books that have deep, meaningful stories and underlying wisdom. Don't be dismayed by your visions of heavy volumes of books, for they can most certainly include children's books, so I will gladly recommend those as well. Especially if the author is George MacDonald, Elizabeth Goudge, A.A. Milne, E. B. White, Madeleine L'Engle, or C.S. Lewis (among many other good authors who wrote stories for children).

My job is to encourage, engage, and explore with someone the possibilities that are in books. No matter what age you might be, I am going to promote books. On my recent holiday to the North Carolina mountains, my mum and I shared the upstairs suite, which had a sitting room. We called it the "reading room", which is what my 3 year old niece called it, too. She would ask to go up to the reading room to read her book after her bath. And that is where reading time ensued. It warmed my heart. She sat intently, quietly listening to the story being read to her as she was completely engaged by the story, understanding the moral and commenting on the characters' actions.

To a reader, a book opens up an entire world of imagination. Stepping inside that story (real or imaginary) requires opening up the cover and turning pages. It requires an open mind and a ready spirit. It requires time devoted to reading. If you are selecting good books, you will not look back on one page with regret. You will come out after turning hundreds of pages as understanding more about God, story, humanity, and yourself. Into deeper fields you will then venture. You will begin to recognize the authors that write with depth, meaning, truth, and beauty.

When someone tells me they loved a book, and then wants to talk about it, I am thrilled. When someone wants to spend time reading (when they normally would never even think of that sort of thing), I am jubilant. For I know that these books will be shaping thoughts, instigating ideas, and tickling the imagination to good ends, and that brings joy to my soul.

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