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Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    As a Christian reader, I found this book to be extremely thought

    As a Christian reader, I found this book to be extremely thought-provoking. While I can see how some readers may want to skip right to the practical suggestions of the book's second half, the first half offers a lot of wisdom, particularly for those who value the Bible and/or Judeo-Christian thought. The first half encourages readers to consider the Bible's relationship to literature and to consider the books they read (Christian and non-Christian books alike, both of which have value in Reinke's opinion) in light of the Christian worldview. I found this first half to be a refreshing reminder of these deeper theological and philosophical matters in our there-is-no-Truth-so-if-it-feels-good-do-it postmodern culture. In this first section, Reinke puts forth many interesting ideas that I had never considered, such as the significance of God revealing himself through written word rather than the visual image, and Reinke places these many ideas in equally interesting and relevant social context. Personally, I would have bought the book for the first half alone.

    Because I read so many books on such a regular basis, I didn't think the second half of Reinke's book would have much to offer me in the way of new advice. Wrong! His practical ideas and suggestions in the second half of the book have been a huge help, as once again he offers ideas that I had never considered. As one other reviewer noted, his suggestion for readers to examine their reading priorities was a lightbulb, since (as Reinke points out) there are far, far more books published than any of us will ever be able to read in a lifetime. This, and other ideas, make the second half of the book a nice complement to the first half.

    Ultimately, the first half seeks to help readers establish the foundation of a strong, core Christian philosophy of literature, and the second half seeks to help readers build on that foundation with specific, helpful reading methods. Reinke's book has changed the way I read, and I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Readers don't need this book.

    As one who reads regularly and a lot I was intrigued by the promotion of this book. But when I got it and read it I realized I really didn't need it. This book would be helpful for anyone who knows they should read more and need encouragement and direction to do so.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Helps Set One's Priorities in Reading

    As a book-reviewing blogger, I found this book to be an essential read as I face daily the harrowing task of sifting through the innumerable options of books to find the right ones for me to read and review. Tony Reinke has offered in Lit! a thorough yet easy-to-read Christian guide for selecting and reading quality books of all genres, and I recommend it highly to anyone desiring to the ability to select higher quality books and read these books with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

    Perhaps the most profound portion of Lit! came in Chapter 7: ¿Read with Resolve ¿ Six Priorities that Decide What Books I Read.¿ In this section, Reinke shares many fascinating tidbits that have already affected greatly my own approach to book selection. For example, he states that if I were to read one book per week during the next fifty years (a time during which roughly 10 million English books will be added to the already voluminous 18 million housed by the Library of Congress), I will only complete 2,800 books in that time, which means that for every 1 book I select, there are 10,000 that I reject. With the information in mind, I was then soft to his next offering, a call for prioritization in book selection. Reinke states that what he reads must match his goals not only in his spiritual life, but also in his vocation, his hobbies, and pleasures. He then shares his own prioritization and encourages his readers to build their own:

    1. Reading Scripture
    2. Reading to know and delight in Christ
    3. Reading to kindle spiritual reflection
    4. Reading to initiate personal change
    5. Reading to pursue vocational excellence
    6. Reading to enjoy a good story
    (quoted from Location 1049 on the Kindle version of Lit!)

    Reinke goes on to describe each of these six priorities in detail, encouraging methods for how the reader can select his own, but I think it would benefit my own readers to check out this book for themselves. I found Reinke¿s book so full of useful tidbits (i.e. don¿t be afraid to skip entire chapters of book that interest you minimally; don¿t be afraid to leave books unfinished if you see them as a waste of your time; be willing to give a book of questionable interested to 100-pages-minus-your age test; etc.), that I am certain this is one non-fiction book I will be sure to read again in the future.

    Besides recommending this books to individually avid or or wannabe-avid readers, I also suggest this book to teachers of literature or language arts and to pastors. Reinke teaches so much information that would be taken as enlightening from teacher to student, from disciple-maker to disciple, that teachers and pastors could truly affect life-long change in young people who have never once found personal interest in or attraction to books. When God¿s method of communicating with His children is His own Word in book form, reading becomes a necessity of life, not something His people resort to only during blackouts.

    ©2011 E.T.

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  • Posted November 9, 2011

    Great Book!

    A number of my friends & I are reading & discussing this book! Reinke has good information & good application woven together in this book! 5-stars!

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  • Posted October 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting perspective

    The purpose of this book is to encourage non-reading Christians to read and to educate them on how to choose good books and to enjoy what they read.

    Part one is the theology of books and reading. I have to admit that this really bored me. I LOVE to read and I just couldn't get into it. Once I moved on to Part two - Some Practical Advice On Book Reading - it became easier reading and the advice presented was thought provoking.

    Some of the subjects that he hits on are how to find time to read, what books to chose and why, how to raise your children to be good readers and what the marks of a healthy reader are.

    I enjoyed the second half of the book and gained some insight into reading from a Christian perspective. But I doubt that a non-reader is going to pick up this book if they don't enjoy reading. Nor do I think they would enjoy it, if they did chose to pick it up. But it's a great book if you are a Christian reader.

    I received this book free of charge from Crossways in exchange for my honest review.

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