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« Why hate goodness? | Main | Blog-a-book: Criticize with grace »

September 17, 2007

Book guilt

Book_stack I have book guilt. Do you know what I mean? I write books, and my friends write books (which I get to read in various stages of publication) and I review books for several publications, and sometimes other writers request endorsements, so I read their books, and I have a long list of books I want to read and I generally have a stack of five or so by my bedside table. I have a running tab at the library. I have only just realized really that I will never actually be able to read everything I want to read (as Michael Douglas said, "Oh, mortality!") and that has me a little panicked. Sometimes I realize that reading is not always the same thing as living, and that shocks me.

Oh, and then I agree to read books and blog about them... and fail hopelessly.  More on Chesterton's Father Brown soon.

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Gina Dalfonzo

Oh, BOY, do I know what you mean. Take your time. I'd be the hypocrite to end all hypocrites if I were to come down on you or anyone else for trying to read too much and not getting it done fast enough!! :-)


I've given the problem my careful consideration and have reached the decision that I'm going to have to live forever.


Ditto to all 3. A superpower I would love: ability to stop time -- to read all the books I'd like to read and see all the films I'd like to watch. Sigh.

Dennis Babish

I'm shooting for a large library in Heaven.
So many books so little time.


Quote: Sometimes I realize that reading is not always the same thing as living, and that shocks me.

I am frequently reminded that knowing (reading) something is not the same thing as living it. I can know that giving to the poor is good and Christian, but if I don't actually follow through on my knowledge, do I really know it?

Lori Smith

Okay, I actually have thought about that -- do you think there are books in heaven? And music? Because I want CS Lewis and Bach.


Paul, You remind me of something a youth leader or YoungLife leader once said to me:

"If you say you believe something yet it has no effect on your life, do you really believe it?"


I have a feeling that there will be something in heaven that is way better than books, or music...

God maybe? ;)


This thread was anticipated by Shlomo The Wiseguy, a little more than 2900 years ago: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes%2012:9-14;&version=65;

'Nuff said; I have some reading I need to catch up on. :-)

Lori Smith

Ah, yes -- being in the publishing industry, I often feel this way: "Of the making of books there is no end..."


But I think being with God implies the continued enjoyment of His creation. Of course, I have no idea, but I think there will be something better than Lewis' books and Bach's music--there will be them joining with us in praise. And, maybe in our "spare time," we can ask Bach if he could give us a free lesson:)

Steve (SBK)

From C.S.Lewis's sermon: "The Weight of Glory":

"The books or the music in
which we thought the beauty was located
will betray us if we trust to them; it was
not in them, it only came through them,
and what came through them was longing.
These things—the beauty, the memory of
our own past—are good images of what we
really desire; but if they are mistaken for
the thing itself they turn into dumb idols,
breaking the hearts of their worshippers.
For they are not the thing itself; they are
only the scent of a flower we have not
found, the echo of a tune we have not
heard, news from a country we have never
yet visited."

Lori Smith

Excellent point, Zoe. Can you imagine worshiping with Bach?

And this is one of my favorite CS Lewis quotes. How could I forget?

Kim Moreland

Lori, Someone borrowed and never returned my copy of a *A Travel Guide to Heaven,* but DeStfaneo say that the good thing on earth will not vanish but will be made whole.

So I say with a resounding YES, we will be listening and reading older material, but we will also be creating new things too.

See Chuck's commentary on this book.

Lori Smith

Wonderful -- thanks!

Steve Klein

And some books are so good I read them more than once, which means I have less time to read a book I haven't read yet. How fortunate we are to have access to such an abundance of good books.

Ian McCarthy

Sometimes I wish I could manufacture a "Calling" to just read books! I wish I had the time to read good secular literature as quoted by good Christian authors. I suppose I should just thank God for the motivation to read.

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