Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Reading

Sometimes I take on too many reading projects at once. Then sometimes, one of these reading projects steals all of my attention, to the neglect of the others.

I've been reading Tim Keller's King's Cross for a while now, but intermittently, while other books grabbed the lion's share of my attention. But I'm aware that I've done the book a disservice and so I'll probably read it again, as soon as I'm finished.

The book that occupied much of my reading time lately has been Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt. For a while I thought it was boding well to be one of the finest novels I'd ever read. Robinson is a very fine writer, and there was much to like here (and I'll certainly read more of his work), but this book was ultimately unsatisfying. Fascinating, but unsatisfying.

Back to the Keller book. It's a kind of devotional commentary on Mark. So that in itself is particularly valuable to me because I'm starting to read Mark devotionally these days and to journal about it. The essence of my approach is not to assume too much as I read, but to try to read the document as if for the first time. So, for example, when Mark uses that phrase, "son of God," in his very first sentence, I want neither to pass it by unnoticed nor to assume I know exactly what Mark means by it. Instead, to remind myself, as I read, to look for Mark's own answers to these kinds of questions. In other words, letting the author, if he will, answer my question in his own time.

Well, that's an aside. Back to my reading these days. I've also been reading Paul Miller's A Praying Life. I'm finding it very helpful, but this one too I've been reading "intermittently." Both this and the Keller book I'll finish off soon though.

a=Also, just to note, I'm reading A Praying Life in ebook format, which doesn't feel quite as real somehow.

Now there are three other books I've started lately. Island of Lost Maps, Out Stealing Horses, and Neil Gaiman's Stardust. See, this is what comes of wandering through libraries in your spare time.


Glynn said...

Let me know what you think of the Keller book. I just started reading his "Counterfeit Gods."

Anonymous said...

there is something missing
when i can't touch paper pages
turn and flip them
smell them...
(am i the only one that loves the
smell of books?)
and i like to be able to
stuff a marker between the pages
a pretty marker or a grocery list,
receipt or an old envelope,
a child's drawing or a dry leaf. or
maybe a photograph of a friend.