Some weeks before we head on holiday I always find a box and start putting books into it ready for sitting under a shady tree with a glass of wine for a peaceful read. The box is a mixture of popular novels and not too heavy books on theology. I usually read one kind then the other. There are those who prefer non-fiction but one of the reasons I like to read stories is that they so often give us an insight into the human condition. Of course some (most?) of the stories are unbelievable – we suspend our usual critical faculties to enjoy them. But that’s not the point. They provide a lens into the world around us and help us understand the people to whom we are reaching out. After all, most of the Bible comes to us in story form for that reason.
Theology books are more like work, but the trouble is I also enjoy reading them – at least the ones I can understand. As Christians we are not great at feeding our faith through on-going learning. Sunday morning studies are never enough to fill us; they can only whet our appetite for a pattern of learning rooted in our discipleship of Jesus. I encourage you to try out some book on the Christian faith that will help you on your journey. Faith and learning are lifelong, and some of the books come in audio form for those who find reading difficult.
Although most of the books are hard copy and in the box, I also have some on my iPad, including Common Prayer, several Bible versions and reading notes. It’s great being able to carry a library in your hand, but I do love a real book in the hand.