I’ve disappeared from blog land lately. I’m back with a post on books. For those who read books of more depth and substance (whether on theology or history or whatever) – do you find your reading isolates you from others rather than opening up conversation? The type of books I read, rather than creating discussion or interest, tend to shut down the conversation or create an awkward moment.
I remember sitting reading Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be, A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga Jr. and someone asked me what I was reading. I was like “uh, well, it is a Christian book on sin and the serious affect sin has on life in this world.” The person gave me a mumbled awkward response, and then quickly changed the subject. haha. Similar things have happened to me other times.
Upon finding out I’m a “reader” someone may ask my favorite authors. I think this question works better with those who read more “popular” books (particularly fiction) by well known authors. Since I don’t read much of this sort, the authors I read are not known by your typical person – and I get a blank look in reply. And it can actually make me pause for thought to think of my favorite authors. My favorite authors are…uh, well, hmm? Since I read more non-fiction, the authors I read are more wide and varied, and not a selective few.
The one author that I think I’ve read the most of is Philip Yancey, having read about 10 books by him. Back when he had a column in Christianity Today, I also faithfully read his column each issue. I also appreciate JI Packer, having read 4 of his books. I’ve read Knowing God twice, and I know I’ll read it again. I’ve read 2 books by NT Wright, and definitely want to read more by him. And I like the old Christian author Sir Robert Anderson (late 19th/early 20th century). He was also a Scotland Yard detective. I’ve read several of his books, and am pleased to own a couple of antique, out-of-print editions. I guess I do have some favorite authors, but it just takes time for them to come to my mind!
To some people a “reader” is a strange alien being. There is an independent used book store near me called BookQuest. It is unique – as it specializes in rare books, out-of-print books, antique books, etc. Oh how wonderful to spend an hour or two perusing their books! They have been in business several years, and seem to meet a niche need. I recently heard someone outside of this store say something like “How can that store stay in business? Who would even go in there?” – Well, believe it or not, some people still love and collect books! And I’d just spent $35 in there – a lot for me who typically picks up books for 25 cents to $1 at thrift shops.
How about you? Do you relate to any of this? Do you have any awkward book moments to share?