My husband received Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke at a men’s conference nearly two years ago. He read it and passed it on to me because I’m a Christian and a reader, as well as a writer. He thought I would find the book interesting and instructive.
Reinke’s book is fairly short but full of insight about the place of books in the lives of all people, both believers and non-believers alike.
He lays a foundation with the first section, A Theology of Books and Reading. He addresses the history of books, how Scripture and the Gospel are the standard, and how our worldview shapes what we receive and discard in our reading.
The second section is more practical with notes on why and how to mark in our books, tips for reading quickly or slowly, and the types of books to read.
I’m glad Reinke didn’t dismiss all fiction and non-Christian literature. He maintains that there is wisdom to be found in secular books, especially the older classics.
I used to be a reader who savored books and words and ideas. As I’ve been reading (and writing) more, I’m sad to say that I often read as a consumer, counting the pages until the end and I can check off that title. Reinke encourages his readers to slow down, to read with more deliberation and more discernment, to choose carefully, and to allow the books to be digested.
If you’re a believer who needs permission to read fiction or non-Christian books, pick up a copy of Lit! and read it first. If you’re a consumer reader (like me, I confess), you’ll also profit from the admonition and instruction in how to slow and let good books inform your life and being.