Since starting my own blog I have started to read the blogs of others. One of the things I have noticed is the number of people displaying obsessive-compulsive behaviour when it comes to books. It is easy to measure spirituality by how many books you can read in a year, or, even more bizarrely, by how many feet of shelving one's library occupies.
On one level I can relate to this. I admit to a certain twitchiness when too long has gone by without me finishing a book, and I can suffer from 'reading guilt' when I consider how much great material there is out there which I have never read and probably will never read. This feeling can be compounded by the reading exploits of others. (Amazon's current top reviewer has posted reviews of 15,208 books! How does anyone do that?!)
Quantity is no indication of quality, however. I think of friends in other nations who have very restricted access to Christian books, but whose lives display a profound spirituality. Of course, I think everyone should read. There is no virtue in being ignorant, but it is possible to read very widely but never deeply. And many of us tend to fall into the trap of reading the latest thing and not reading books of real substance.
I remember the course tutor for my MA advising us that we should focus on books that had stood the test of centuries. I doubt that in 50 years time (let alone 500) anyone will be reading the titles that currently occupy the Christian bestseller lists (and certainly not this blog!). A pastor friend of mine related to a group of us his most recent visit to the local Wesley Owen bookshop. Apparently, this is named after John Owen and John Wesley, to reflect the Reformed and Arminian traditions of Evangelicalism, but my friend felt it should be renamed 'Yancey Meyer' as he could not find anything of substance on the shelves!
So, rather than reading nothing or falling into the trap of seeking justification in the quantity of what we read, better to read a few things which are really worth reading. To this end I am adding a "Read Hot" section at the bottom of my blog where I shall occasionally list books I think are really worth digging out and digging into. I am starting with Augustine's Confessions.
Best of the Rest w/e 24 May 2013 - [image: Best of the Rest w/e 24 May 2013 primary image] You know the drill by now. Here's the stuff that's caught our eyes this week. Share and enjoy. Ar...
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