I wish I could say I read as much as I esteem books. There are a number of types of books which I enjoy that range from instructional to escapist. I am not above a little mental diversion. In fact, I find that I’m often drawn to fictional works. C.S. Lewis spoke of the effect of reading George MacDonald and G.K. Chesterton as ones whom God employed to baptize his imagination. Of course there are also classics which help cultivate our palate or which are so influential, that you need to read them in order to appreciate more contemporary works.
For instance, if you’ve read or seen Bridget Jones Diary but haven’t read Austin’s Pride and Prejudice or watched the BBC version of the same with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle–well you may “like” it, but you won’t ultimately “get” it. The same goes for the movie, You’ve Got Mail or the older Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan version: Shop Around the Corner–they’re too are Pride and Prejudice. This goes to show you that there are stories which must be “true stories” because of their transcendent quality to captivate our imagination. Though we may think that all that is worth knowing is what can be distilled into propositional truths. Truth is not confined by my ability to comprehend it propositionally–as if my mind contained them. Truth can be narrative, that is, contained in a story.
So, as I compile my summer reading lists, there will be a number of different types of books. Books which are non-fiction, books which are fantasy, books which are classics–because, to put C.S. Lewis’ baptized imagination another way, we need to be brain-washed–we need our minds washed in truth.
I’ll post my reading list, but in the meantime, “Here’s to good stories. Cheers!”