I just finished reading Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Written by Tony Reinke.
I mentioned in my introduction that I am a Christian and after reading this book, I think it’s perfect for my very first book review.
So let’s talk about why I picked up this book in the first place and what I hoped to gain from reading it. I am a passionate Christian and lately I have been thinking of how I can honour God more in the things that I enjoy doing; that is why I picked up Lit! I wanted some information on what God thinks about the types of books I read. As a book lover, of course I went and found a book on the topic. I came to this book expecting it to describe a list of books/genres that Christians should and shouldn’t read.
That is not what I got. In this book, I found a wonderful well thought out argument on the meaning and importance of reading as a person. The pleasure of reading was never denied and I think Tony did a great job of explaining the importance of Christians enjoying books, not just Christian books but all kinds of non-faith based books.
Another thing I liked about it is the emphasis on scripture. Tony did not shy away from saying: Yo! You need to read your bible – don’t ignore scripture in pursuit of pleasure. This was so key to me. In a world where there are so many pleasurable distractions, the value of God’s word can easily be forgotten. Lit! constantly reminded me of that importance and I love it for that. The first part deals about the “theology” of reading. The second on “How to read”.
I personally enjoyed the author’s voice in this book. His writing was easy to read and not at all tedious. His inclusion of references from other authors was frequent but not out of place. The quotes used illustrated his points brilliantly. I mean if someone else has already said it brilliantly why struggle to paraphrase?
Did the book meet my expectations? No. It didn’t tell me what to read and what not to read. It did however refresh my mind and make me think about why I love reading. Pointing to scripture as the light by which all other books are to be read was a good lesson to learn. The book also contains chapters on how to get other people into reading and different ways that books can be read. A “how to read books section” so to speak.
Like I said, if you are looking for a list of do’s and don’ts then this is not the book for you. This book motivated and challenged me to think about reading in a way that I never have before and I love it for that reason alone.
I will be reading this book again. I am certain of it.
I gave it 4 stars on goodreads.