I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Reading challenges and changes us

Recently I received and passed on a graphic about print books. Benefits include, among others, no glare, no batteries and no pop-up ads. Of course, print books can be read anyplace. They don’t require access to electricity or a charger. There is nothing like the smell of a new book. I enjoy reading print books.

I was always a reader, something taught me by parents who read and who read to us until my siblings and I were able to read for ourselves. In fact, when I was in later elementary and I wanted to go to an away school function, my mother said I could go if I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I loved to read, so that was an easy promise to make. (This book should be a must read for each generation.)

In the summer I read constantly. My father often found me sweating buckets as I read a book in my room. When I read, the whole world disappeared. He’d make me go read out on the porch. I read fiction and mystery and biography and so many others–books that filled my heart and mind. Of course, the Bible was front and center in our home and I fell in love with the Jesus who loved me so much He died and rose again for me. My reading shaped my values and world outlook.

As much as I have a history with print books, digital books also have their place. Those with vision problems are able to enlarge text on a digital book. You can load a whole lot of digital books on a device at a time. This saves lots of space when traveling. Books can even be read online and not downloaded at all. Digital books, especially those for children, can be animated in ways a print book never can. I read digital books all the time.

How one reads is personal choice and, like me, many use both resources for finding and reading books. Some believe that reading itself is of value, but here I disagree. What one reads is as important as reading itself. We become what fills our time and mind. This goes for companions as well as books and other media. It’s why we seek to make sure our kids have friends we like and trust. What we put into our minds challenges and changes us. The outcome of filling our minds with violence and horror will be different from filling our minds with those things that are good and honorable.

Our founders believed in education, especially learning to read, not just to be able to claim they were educated, but so American citizens could read the Bible.. They knew the Bible provided the base for a solid foundation of freedom, healthy relationships, and responsibility to ourselves, our families and others and our nation. Those first colleges like Harvard and Yale were created originally for the training of pastors. (These days, vocalChristians aren’t even welcome on those campuses.)

There are many books that lift up, challenge and teach us about history, and our world or provide good, clean entertainment. There are other books that tear down, twist the truth and draw out anger–and not the sort of anger that builds, but only that destroys. Reading is fundamental, but when choosing reading material for ourself, as well as for our family, we need to choose books that help build us up into the persons we desire to be–persons who value honor, integrity, caring and life.

By Carolyn R Scheidies
Published in Kearney Hub 8/19/2019



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