Tuesday 15 December 2015

Reading Thoughtfully

There, my final tagline post.

I believe that as Christians it is not wise or right to just read a book without thinking about what it is trying to say. You may say, 'it's just a story'. But it isn't. Ideas aren't neutral. Either they line up with God's truth or they don't. It's simple.

So when I read I try to analyse what the author is trying to say. Or maybe not even trying. Many people are just trying to tell a enjoyable story. But still their view of the world is going to come through. So it's probably a good idea to find out something of what the author believes before reading their book. I must admit that I often forget to do that. But I still try to figure it out. I don't want to find that I am believing a lie.

Of course this doesn't I only read books that are written from a certain world view. This year I found out a series I was reading, was written by a LDS lady. I still kept reading and enjoyed them. There was still a lot of truth in them. Knowing where she was coming from helped me know what errors to look out for. I'll do a full review sometime.

I enjoy some older books that aren't strictly classed as Christian. Especially accurate historical fiction. In the past the general culture was more Christian and this is reflected in some books. I wouldn't read a contemporary secular book though because they have so much filth in them. And some Christian books aren't  a lot better.

When I read I'm always looking for a godly theme or message in it. This may be because my family has a general stance against reading a lot of fiction and I feel that I need to justify having spent time on that book. When I haven't learnt anything from a book it feels like a waste of time.

I also read as a writer. Since I started writing, I've never looked a story the same way again. I notice the plot, I notice little things like alliteration, I notice little mistakes, like using the same word too many times. That may be because I'm reading aloud to my brothers though. But when I read to them I keep making little comments.

I also think about movies and music. With movies I even have a pen and note pad. Often I don't write anything down, but we talk about things still. And with music I usually  think about what it is saying. That is why I like songs from scripture. I don't have to analyse it. God's word is the one thing we are safe not to filter. and even then I think about it.

Thinking about stories hasn't lessened my enjoyment though. I think it has made it greater. I will follow these same standards when I do book reviews. That probably won't be very often as I'm not a great reviewer, but it'll happen occasionally.

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