I wasn’t much of a reader growing up. I always admired those girls, and they usually seemed to be girls, who kept their nose in a book and read whatever they could get their hands on. I admire those girls now. I was a slow reader, and if something didn’t grab my attention immediately I had a hard time getting into it. I would often start books (The Secret Garden, Little House on the Prairie, and the Hobbit are all books that come to mind )and not be able to finish them. Even in high school I had trouble finishing 1984 and Macbeth. One book I did read in high school, that somehow kept me interested was The World According to Garp. Don’t ask me why…
Eventually, in my late twenties, I became a reader. At this time I was interested in spiritual matters and would read a wide variety of spiritual books. Being part of Alcoholics Anonymous the Big Book was the first. The Sermon on the Mount, by Emmet Fox was another. I don’t remember all I read from that season of life. Eventually I became a Christian and was hungry for not only God’s Word but also books that would help me live out God’s word. We were part of Amway in the late 80’s and there were a wealth(pun intended) of books about prosperity theology. These were hard to swallow and thankfully we never found enough success to totally buy into this way of life. Our faith just wasn’t great enough I guess…
Of course I wanted to be the best Christian woman I could be and I read lots of books on being a good wife, housekeeper and mother. One particular book I remember promised that if I kept my house clean, looked pretty for my husband and fed him well that he would in turn by me new furniture. Um, to bad I didn’t take that philosophy to heart I might have that bedroom suite I always wanted.
Homeschooling opened up a whole new realm of books non-fiction how-to homeschool books and children’s literature. All the books I missed growing up I discovered as a home school mom and read a-louds became a fixture in my home. And my children traded Goose Bumps and Junie B. Jones for Caldecott and Newbury winners.
Books shape the way we think, our thoughts are the basis for our actions. Whether it be fiction or non-fiction words leave an impression. I found I was easily swayed by almost anything I read. Over the past twenty years I’ve learned to be more careful about choosing what to read and more discerning of what I read.
The majority of what I read now might be called inspirational or Christian living books mingled with some straight Christian Theology I also manage to fit in a few novels and biographies and lately am rounding out my reading with some not explicitly Christian inspirational. When I find a good one I want to shout it from the roof tops and wish everyone would read it. I want to buy 10 copies and give it away to all my friends and family. I want to lead a book study and get everyone on board. Whether or not I get other people to read what I’ve read doesn’t minimize it’s impact on me. But what I really want to be careful of is walking away from the impact a book has had on me and forgetting what I’ve learned. Books that resonate and pave the way for positive change in my life are important to hold on to.
For this week I’ll be talking about different books that, over the years, have had an affect on me. Most will probably be about Christian living. Honestly I don’t have a list yet. It will be a series that evolves. I will come back here to link to all the subsequent days posts so that there will be a landing page for the series.
Stick around and let me know what books have been meaningful to you over the years. I love to add new ones to my list for future reference and would love to talk about any books we have in common.