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Monday, November 26, 2007

Choose carefully what you read


On the same day I blogged about reading fatigue Matt Hosier also blogged on reading, which if you're a bibliophile you should read. Reading is so important as a stimulus to your own thought and development that choosing carefully what you read is key. There are a number of traps that you can fall into and no doubt there are more:
  • Trap 1. Reading only books that already agree with me. We need to stetch ourselves and see the world from another angle even if the conclusion we reach is that they are wrong. For me that means every now and then reading stuff by non-Christians, right-wingers and battle-hardened entrenched theological views.   
  • Trap 2. Eating an unbalanced diet. Too much meat, not enough meat, too much sweet stuff, not enough sweet stuff. It can make reading stale and ultimately unsatisfying. Right now, I'm reading a novel, to relax enjoy reading, feed the creative side that enjoys a good story (well this is an OK story), and give some mental space before choosing a steak! But if all I read were stories, would my thinking develop as much? Doubt it.
  • Trap 3. Following fashion. If I stick to the well-worn path then I see only what everyone else has already seen, an adventure comes with going off-track even if only for a short while. I don't always need what is new, so I'll choose a classic (or indeed vice versa). 
  • Trap 4. Just because someone else has read it, doesn't mean I have to. 'This is great, you'll love it, you should read it, I won't take no for an answer'. Well they should take no for an answer because I'd like to choose what I read if that's ok. 
Any others?   

3 comments:

matthew hosier on 26 November 2007 at 16:26 said...

Good post Phil!

Tim Simmonds on 27 November 2007 at 16:50 said...

When I want to read meat I often accidently try and eat a whole cow in one sitting. If you know what I mean?

Have cut out on some pointless sweet stuff. But I find a quick bar of chocolate can inspire you to eat a healthy meal!

Jeremy on 2 December 2007 at 21:22 said...

I'd agree with all of that. I tend to think on things for months at a time and get a little fixated on trying to understand things, so taking reading holidays are good. I read Northern Lights on holiday last week, just to feed the imagination.

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