I’ve been doing a lot recently. All of it has caused me to do one thing: think deeply.
I’ve been writing in a more creative way. Finished a manuscript for a novel, now working on my second novel, and have several short stories finished and some short stories in the works.
I’ve been reading a lot, and been keeping a reading list. As of today, I have read 14 books since January 1st, and am currently reading about 12 others. Audiobooks have helped me bulk up these numbers, and they totally count. If it counts as reading for my children when they are read aloud to, then it counts when I am read aloud to.
All this word consuming and creating has made me extremely thoughtful. I’ve read things I didn’t agree with, and things I didn’t think I agreed with until it was explained. I’ve read some horrific accounts, and some tellings of delightful tales.
The main thought that keeps running in and out and around my mind is this: Why?
Why did the author write this?
Why is this considered “good” or “bad”?
Why did I not enjoy this before?
Why don’t more people read this?
Why would someone do that (in the case of some non-fiction books)?
Why don’t I like this?
Why is this so hard to read?
Why do others think this is so hard to read (because it’s really not)?
Why, why, why?
I don’t have answers for many of these, but that hasn’t stopped me from asking the questions, postulating answers, and then badgering my husband with his opinions (he was a philosophy major, and still is a philosopher at heart, so he doesn’t mind).
Why do you read what you read?
What makes that genre or that author or that kind of story your favorite?
What stops you from reading?
Looking over my booklist two types of books stick out to me as favorites: old books, and detective novels.
Old books (my definition): anything written by someone who has been dead for at least 50 years.
Detective novels: crime solving novels, usually involving a detective, private or official.
Why do I like these so much? I’m not sure, but I know that I do. I love history, so I suppose that is part of liking old books. I love learning about people and places. There is nothing more mysterious and full of things we don’t understand than the past. Old books, even fiction, open up a world that is, for the most part, foreign to us. I find this delightful.
I think I like detective novels for the same reason. And, I like to feel smart, and solve clever puzzles, and feel a part of righting a wrong and doing justice, even if it’s fiction. There is something deeply human in detective novels. We see wrong and right very clearly on display. The fight for rightness, justice, meeting the tension of inadequacies, grey areas, and fallible good guys. Detective novels, and math, prove, in a way, the existence of objective truth. There is a reason why Agatha Christie is the best selling author of all time behind only the Bible and Shakespeare. We humans are drawn to truth, objective truth, goodness, and beauty. Books highlight this reality.
“The difference between nonfiction and fiction is that fiction must be absolutely believable.”
(possibly said by Mark Twain, but true regardless)
I wax poetic and digress into theology, philosophy, and pondering the gracious purpose of life. We have a title!
What are you reading? Has it got you thinking?
Soli Deo Gloria