I picked up a book at the Bible Society the other day, and when I paid for it, I remarked to the manager that I am a self-labelled “binge reader”. That book I bought would be the fifth book I’d have on the go at that point, not counting the Bible. It might say something about my inability to finish one thing before starting another, though I think that probably applies to my model railroading more than it applies to my reading.
A goodly part of my vocation involves reading: Scripture itself, books about the Bible, commentaries, etc., etc. And, to achieve at least some sort of touch-point with those who hear me, read me or dialogue with me, I try to read as widely as time permits beyond the theological. That means reading books, yes, but also blogs, newspapers, magazines, and the like (including audio books, which allow me to redeem much of the time I spend on the road). I’m constantly reading something, even if it’s just a model train magazine.
Yet there are times when my reading goes ‘over the top’, like these days. I can’t seem to get enough. I wish I knew why that is, and I wish these ‘binges’ would last longer. I never fail to be unspeakably enriched by these times.
It leaves me wondering why some folks, despite their self-admitted literacy, choose not to read much – or choose not to read things that will develop their spiritual lives. The Christian Booksellers’ Association (now defunct in Canada) has said that some three-quarters of church-going people have no idea that Christian resources, such as those found in Christian bookstores, exist. Three-quarters!
To be sure, there is a fair bit in Christian bookstores that could not be labelled as anything more powerful than drivel. (Opinions, it should be noted, vary as to what constitutes said ‘drivel’.) But along with the not-so-profound stuff there is much excellent, edifying reading to be found – and with the near-equalizing of the Canadian and American currencies, it can be found at more reasonable prices than in recent memory.
So – do an online search for a Christian retail outlet near you, or check the Christian sections of amazon.ca or chapters.ca, or go to christianbook.com. There’s lots of good stuff to be read out there.
When I finish one of those volumes I’ve got on the go right now, I’ll post a review in my “book reviews” section of passionatelyhis.com.
Now, what page was I on…?