I just konmari’d my closet so trust me when I say, I dig the current trend for less clutter and more organization. I’ll take your advice on the underpants, but easy on my books, sister. (I guess not ALL of them spark joy, but most of them do!)
I have a confession to make: I read a lot last year but it wasn’t the satisfying kind of reading I’ve done in the past.
I was writing a book and sharing about my new passion so I read mostly for utility. Lot of books on how to write memoir and then whole memoirs or rereading parts of pieces of great memoirs. Then I read stacks and stacks of books on essential oils because not since medical school has anything so intrigued me and amazed me like these little drops of God’s making, so I had to learn more.
I read voraciously. I read health books, business books, then more memoirs.
It was wonderful and I learned SO much but I missed reading just for the sake of reading. I don’t think I read one whole CS Lewis book all year. (a long sad sigh) I think that’s the first time in ten years. I didn’t read a whole Chesterton book. I didn’t read many novels. And I want to change that. So, one of my goals this year is to broaden my reading again and to fight for reading in my own life and in the lives of those I meet. So here are my reasons for why you should still build a family library in a digital and minimal and kon-mari organizing age.
1. Reading is THE PERFECT antidote to our life of screens
I love screens and then I loathe them. I make my living by them. I wrote my book on one. I have found my dearest friends from them. I can serve my neighbor with them. But then I see how insidious they are and then I want to throw them all in the lake.
They change our mood. They shorten our attention spans. They change our brain chemistry. They change everything.
Which is also why I don’t read many ebooks. I like to hold my books in my hand, carry them around with me, dog ear them, write in them, spill coffee on them. Know exactly where I am in the book. And I want my kids to see me reading and not to have to guess whether I’m just surfing the net.
2. Physical books holding space in our homes sends a message
My older kids come home and inevitably shop from the home library. They look to see what’s new or what’s old that they forgot about. They borrow books. Or they get inspired by our book collection to make their own book collection. I probably won’t leave a huge pile of money to my kids but I want to leave them a legacy of reading good books.
Good books were my path out of poverty and a family history of violence and addiction. Good books changed everything for me. I held onto those words for dear life. And I want my kids to know those same words and to know the power of transformation that comes from reading.
3. Christians will always be people of the Word
God spoke life into being out of nothing. He created His people and then He gave them a book. A book of life, where He would share His love. And we learn to follow Him by listening to His words. Reading good books trains us on how to be good disciples. His book first, then other great books.
And then mystery of all mystery—the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us.
This Word changes everything. We must remain hearers of His good news.
So, what about you?
Are you struggling with the same thing? Are you tired of screens and scrolling?
Let’s break out some actual books, my dears! I’ll be giving my 2016 list later in the week!
p.s. Some books that remind us of the great power of books and the danger of not reading them:
Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman
Imagination Redeemed, Gene Veith
The Medium is the Message, Marshall McLuhan
The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis