So Many Books … So Little Time!
Ever since I can remember I’ve loved to read. As a girl I went through the Nancy Drew phase, diligently checking off titles as I worked through the long list of mysteries. My next phase was Agatha Christie, more complex mysteries which I devoured one after another. When I began homeschooling my kids I realized how many great books and authors I had never read, and I started taking my choice of literature seriously. You know the saying about a pregnant woman “eating for two”? Well it occurred to me that now I was “reading for four” — it was my responsibility to pick healthy books not only for myself, but for my children to read as well. I eagerly looked for recommended reading lists for all grade levels so I could introduce my children to wonderful books through our reading aloud sessions. And I had a lot of catching up to do to make up for those gaps in my reading experience. It was also about this time that I discovered Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, two of my favorite authors. I decided that life is short, and there is so much good literature out there to waste time reading bad literature. Hmm, good literature vs. bad literature – what’s the difference? Of course, people have differing tastes in literary genres, and what one person considers a great book another person will hate. Well, here’s what I learned that helped me define “good literature” for myself and my children.
Early in my homeschooling years, I had the opportunity to learn how to study and teach literature under the direction of master-teacher and author Katherine Dang. She made the point that since our primary reason for learning to read is so that we can read (and thus obey) God’s Word, “all literature should help to cultivate a taste and desire for reading God’s Word, not turn or distract away.” She shared that literature should encourage and advance certain “loves”, among them:
- Love for God and His Word
- Love for Home and Family
- Love and appreciation for the Individual
- Love for one’s Nation
- Love of Learning and Scholarship
This idea really inspired me to look for books that teach and reinforce the character, values and principles that reflect Christian ideas.
In turn, I want to help others to discover and enjoy the books that I have enjoyed and profited by reading. So this blog is dedicated to the advancement of good reading!