Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Quote from the archives: A Reason for Reading

First posted January 2006

"Books are wonderful ways to learn the possibilities of being human. We can define character traits with words, but they take shape only when you see what they look like in a person. How can we understand honor or valor or courage unless we have sometimes seen these traits in someone's life? Good literature may so move the reader that is seems impossible to verbalize about it. The experience is what counts....

"This is why an evil character in a story may reveal the real nature of evil more clearly than a sermon on sin. Reading stories is also a vicarious way to see how goodness and humility and honesty and beauty play out in life. Literature does instruct us, even thought it may not be our main reason for reading. Malcolm Muggeridge wrote in Jesus Rediscovered that books like Resurrection or The Brothers Karamazov gave him an overpowering sense of how uniquely marvelous a Christian way of looking at life is, and a passionate desire to share it. Good books have a way of instructing the heart."

--Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Woman's Heart

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