Why read? (1)

books

In a culture where reading often stops at the end of high school or university with a book bonfire, let’s have some reasons to read. So here’s one for starters from Adrian Reynolds, director of ministry at the Proclamation Trust

I love reading. I don’t think that comes as a surprise to many who know me or visit my office where I am trying to cultivate a Polytechnic version of a Oxbridge Don’s study with various piles of books scattered around. I can’t help it. I love reading.

But you may be surprised to know why.

I had a day off this week to do some home things with Mrs R, getting ready for our holiday in a few weeks time. Afternoon came around and England were bowled out. What next?

I’m really very bad at doing nothing. I can’t stand it, in fact. That, coupled with the Messiah complex that all of us have, at least in part, could be very bad news. It would make me a workaholic. Someone who can’t switch off but constantly needs to be checking emails and the like. That could easily be me.

Neither can I just zone out. I love sitting by the pool, but I can’t do that with nothing in my head. I’m always mulling over things, checking them over in my mind, rehearsing and repeating events of this day and tomorrow. That’s a real hiding to nothing, I can tell you for free. Or, worse still, my attempts to empty my head lead to all kinds of unhelpful stuff drifting in that I do well to avoid. You get the drift.

And so I read. It helps me fill my mind with useful stuff. Not junk. And not sin. And not work. It’s a switch off. And for that reason alone (even though there are others), I love it.

So I commend reading to you. A guard against too high a view of self, sinful thoughts and workaholic-ism. It’s why I’m taking away a few books this holiday.

Originally published on the Proclaimer Blog.

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