Saturday, June 13, 2009

“When I go to the libraries and ask what are the books that are most drawn out, the information which I receive is not, I am sorry to say, creditable to the character of the young. They do not read histories. They do not read biographies. They do not read travels. They do not read scientific works. There are fifty novels taken out, where there is one solid and substantial work drawn. I have not a word to say against novels. I believe in them. I think that if they are good they are useful. I believe that they are no more to be disallowed than any other part of literature. They can be made to serve the very best kinds of economy, of virtue and morality, to say nothing of religion; but a man who feeds on nothing but these – how miserable and wretched he is! These are the whips and syllabubs of life (cream and froth). They are not the bread nor the meat. They are the confections of life. But ought a man to sit down and eat sugar-plums for his dinner, and nothing but sugar-plums?”
This is such a relevant issue in our home where the stream of Sci-fi books that have been popular lately, can become the total intake, excluding everything else. Eragon and Twilight come to mind.
H.W.Beecher - photo from Internet


Mel said...

Good Evening, Fred! This post rings so true, but I don't agree with the whole thing. I think it's good for people to read, and if all they ever read is novels, well, that's far better than not reading at all. One of my favorite books of all time is "A Voice in the Wind" by Francine Rivers. It's a work of fiction, but there is much truth in it. I find that I can learn and remember spiritual truths that are expressed within the context of a story far faster and more efficiently than I can when they are in a non-fiction book. Kind of like the way eating steamed broccoli with cheese is so much more appetizing than eating raw broccoli plain. For me anyway. :)

I guess I feel like whatever people want to read at any given time, they should read it, and when the time is right for them to branch out into different genres, God will plant that desire in their hearts.

Good food for thought, I need to share this one with my kids. Heck, I just need to have them come read your blog once a day as a general healthy habit. :)

God bless you!


FCB said...

Hi Mel,
It is so true that many young people never pick up a book, they are never whisked away to a foreign land, never rub shoulders with the vast set of characters that books bring to life, never laugh at the antics of other cultures or the odd or mysterious people we read about. It is such a shame to lose the blessing of reading. I agree with you, just read. Read something, develop a taste for reading, it will almost always broaden your horizons and give you a hunger for more. The worls is at our finger tips, dive in!
God bless you Mel,