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Monday, May 14, 2012

Reading...and Not

We had a lovely Mother's Day. Jason and Catherine treated me to lunch at one of my favorite neighborhood places, and Catherine gave me a book she thought we'd enjoy reading together. And we did! {I also loved this image from an Audible ad.}

Someone asked me last week what I've been reading lately, and I was so sad to realize that, all year, I've only read snippets of parenting books and social network analysis tomes. {I don't think I've ever used the word tome before, but it definitely applies here.}

Since school is out, I've been diving into some commentaries {part spiritual growth, part professional development since I work in a theological library} and a few short stories. Does anyone else love a good short story as much as I do? They're like the petites at Starbucks. Perfect size, perfect deliciousness, and now I want a whoopie pie.

Anyway, I'm ready to get back into reading this summer, and I'm tempted to log my hours at Scholastic because I am all about logging things and getting rewards for it. But, for now, I'll stick to my laidback reading schedule.

So, besides things like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, here are a couple of other things I'm reading.

OK, it's a parenting book, too, but it's also part biography of an ex-pat. The writing is excellent {generally, journalists to do a good job at that sort of thing}, and she doesn't fawn over the French {at least, not yet--I'm only about 1/3 of the way in}. Really enjoying it so far!

I'm also enjoying the "for everyone" commentary series by N.T. Wright. He's covered most of the New Testament, and these are quick reads that also give you some helpful spiritual insights.

Now...there are also a few things I'm not reading. Just to clarify, as a librarian, I am all about having the freedom to read what you want and not banning books. But, as a reader and, more particularly, as a Christian reader, I do practice some self-censorship. Partly because you just can't read everything, so why not be a little selective? But also because I have this verse in mind a lot.

I'm the first to admit that everything I read probably isn't noble, pure, or lovely, but there are some things that, for me, cross a line into being too dark, too disturbing, too materialistic, or just too tempting to devote my time and my thoughts to. Now, like parenting styles, this is going to be different for different people, and this is a reading-choice-judgment-free-zone! What represents a potential problem for me might be totally fine for you, but sometimes it helps me to be purposeful about my reading choices.

For instance, not long after we came to Texas, I gave up what had gotten to be kind of an expensive magazine habit because, after reading, I felt increasingly dissatisfied with our home, our lifestyle, my clothes, etc. Not that I don't ever pick up Real Simple or InStyle anymore, but I don't let myself read them on a regular basis because it became a problem for me.

Similarly, I was haunted--haunted!--by Lord of the Flies. I read it when I was working in a school library, and, despite some important messages, it was just too disturbing for me. That, and the fact that I'm generally not a fan of dystopian kinds of stories, convinced me that I probably shouldn't check out The Hunger Games. And reading several things like this  makes me think that 50 Shades of Grey is probably not the best choice for my summer reading list either.

It's harder when they're popular like that, of course, because I'm always curious to see what all the hype is about and excited about books in general! But I've been really satisfied with practicing some moderation in my reading habits. 

Fill me in--what are you reading? And how do you choose what you do or don't read?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5/15/2012

    Been reading WHAT WE CAN'T NOT KNOW A Guide by J. Budziszewski. He's from your parts, Tiffany... a professor of both government and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.
    Happy days!


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