Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Nice To Read Again

I finished a great book over the weekend ("Full Disclosure" by Dee Henderson). It has been a LONG time since I'd read a novel that I enjoyed that much. 

I started another book last night. I put it away when it was time to go to bed, and David asked me how I liked my new book. I honestly replied that I wasn't sure yet because I wasn't that far into it ... but, regardless, it was nice to read again. 

He asked me what I meant by that. As I tried to form an answer, I felt this strange release inside, like something was waking up...

When I was a young girl, I'd read every night before I went to bed (ask my sister - we shared a room!). I read Nancy Drew, all the Little House on the Prairie books ... so many novels. I just loved to read! It might be part of the reason I ended up falling in love with writing - I desperately appreciate the written word. In fact, I got pretty fired up in college during my speech class when we learned about the creation of the printing press and how the world was so dramatically changed after that invention. I've placed Johann Gutenberg above the guy who invented air conditioning on my list of most appreciated inventors!

I can't remember exactly when I stopped reading, but I know by the time I was in nursing school I wasn't reading for fun anymore. There just wasn't any time. Eventually, I managed to pick up a non-fiction, Christian book every now and then and finish it over a period of months. 

Then, a couple years ago, David and I were in a used bookstore, and I picked up a novel. It was about a First Lady, it looked good, and I thought I'd give it a try. Little did I realize it's contents were X-rated. After returning the book and notifying the store they might want to move it to the "adult section," I was incredibly hesitant to try reading a novel again, simply because I didn't want to stumble into that kind of content again. I decided I'd just wait until someone I trusted read something good and referred it to me, then I'd start reading for fun again. 

Then, a couple weeks ago we were in Barnes & Noble while a horrible thunderstorm poured down outside. I mean sheets and sheets of rain and lightning that looked like it was going to come through the windows! While the clouds dumped their furry over North Little Rock, we had fun waiting out the storm looking at board games and puzzles before making our way over to the law section for David. We passed a table featuring Christian fiction. I stopped and skimmed the titles as David pressed on down the wide aisle. "Full Disclosure" caught my eye. I picked it up and read the back of the book. It sounded really good and apparently the author was well established and had won several awards for her books. And she was a Christian. It was like a light bulb turned on. I realized that I didn't need to wait for someone else to refer a good book to me. There are plenty of Christian authors out there who write good fiction, and their books would not only be entertaining but likely not include the racy material I wanted to avoid. 

I was blown away by "Full Disclosure." It is amazingly written and captivating, and more so, I feel like processing the characters' stories challenged me in my walk with Christ. Usually it's the non-fiction, Christian books that do that. But this was fiction - a story

I shouldn't have been surprised. After all, isn't that how Jesus taught... with stories? Isn't that how I teach best... by incorporating a concept or lesson into a skit? 

If you're looking for a good, fiction book, try one of Dee Henderson's. I've just ordered another one of her's online and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival by mail. Maybe, like me, it will wake up a part of you that was asleep for a while. Or, light a flame that is yet to be lit. 

Maybe, like me, reading a good book will birth a passion inside of you too. I think every good writer started out as a good story lover. But, I also think good stories can teach us just as well as personal experience can. A wise man once told me, "When I feel like I need to give someone advice, but I know they don't want to hear it, I'll tell them a story." Stories are powerful things. Thank goodness there are good writers to put them on paper... and printing presses to put them into good books.