Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books ended up being one of those books that I can call "life changing". Really! While there was no need to convince me of the importance of books(because I have a book obsession), Reinke did convince me of so many other things. He opened my mind to many new ideas, and reminded me of many things I already knew. He also made me realize I need to keep books in their place, and never let them become idols!
Lit! is divided into 2 sections. I'm embarrassed to admit that I dragged through most of the first section. I'm embarrassed because that first section enforces that the Bible should come above ALL other books. I agree with that wholeheartedly!!! I had to write a quick review right after finishing the book, and I actually suggested that some people might even want to skip the first section. I take that back!! I did get a great deal out of the first section. It is important! I went back and re-read several parts and highlighted important sections I especially want to remember. But, again, there was a good chunk of it that I dragged through. I tell you that to let you know if you end up like me with the first part, keep going! That second section pumped me up for changes to my life, and in more ways than with just books. That's what I expect from Non-Fiction! I want something that encourages me to change for the better. I definitely got that with Lit!!
About a year ago, I had my reading challenged and I was struggling to make a decision of my own. Someone told me that ALL fantasy and magic in reading was wrong, whether it was The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter....it didn't matter. It was wrong. I prayed and struggled through my decision for quite awhile. I finally came to the conclusion that I didn't agree with that. If you read my blog, I'm sure you can guess that since I read a good bit of fantasy. Reinke talks about this issue in the first section of Lit!, and I really like the arguments he gave.
I do not encourage you to avoid books that mention evil. Many of the greatest works in literature are written from a perspective that captures the dark realities in life. This makes it impossible to reject books merely because they include bloody violence, illicit sexuality, scornful unbelief, or dark witchcraft. The Bible includes stories of all four.
The more important questions are these: How is the violence, sexual sin, and skepticism presented? Is it presented as evil? Is fornication celebrated, or are the consequences of sin made obvious? Does the book celebrate sin, or leave evil unresolved?
Of course, Reinke writes more on the subject, stressing the importance of following your own conscience. In general, I will not read books with illicit sex (or profanity), because I'm just not comfortable with it.
One of the biggest changes I've started making due to Lit! is computer time. With blogging, that's sometimes hard. Except when I'm writing posts, I've moved my laptop to a more uncomfortable spot. I should probably mention here that I need a new battery, so I have to keep my laptop plugged up anytime I use it. I have to move furniture to plug it up. By moving it to another spot, away from my comfy couch spot, it just doesn't have as much appeal when I have to move things around or sit in an uncomfortable chair. I'm attempting to cut the ties that my computer has on me. This is a lesson that is quickly and easily forgotten!! :)(as I sit here back on my comfy couch) :P I am trying, though! My reading time has greatly improved lately! Lit! is definitely a book that I need to read often to keep the lessons fresh on my mind.
I've never been big on writing in books. There are those special few that when I start reading, I know it's one that I'll come back to, but otherwise, I don't write or highlight in books. Reinke did such a great job of changing my mind.
The emotions displayed in the reading experience can be captured. They should be captured. Those marginal notes are where the mind of the author and the mind of the reader collide. I hope my kids will one day read over my notes and see my responses to a book.
Writing in books is a GIFT to my children!
I could use a blank Moleskin notebook, but that's not as convenient. In the margins of a book my thoughts are directly tied to the original source.
Let me point out the obvious(Reinke does, too): Don't write in library books! ;) I still never write in Fiction. I may possibly for re-reads, but I haven't yet.
There are TONS of slips of paper marking things in this book that I want to share, but it would be so much easier just to tell you to read it. This post was actually very hard to write, but only because I loved this book so much. I actually deleted a great deal! I wanted to capture enough in here to convince you Lit! is a book you NEED to read. If I haven't, check out Carrie's thoughts HERE and her review HERE. She's the one that convinced me to read it and I'm incredibly grateful! :)
*I was provided a review copy through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion.