As an ex librarian, books are my stock in trade. A house without books for me is empty, and I always have a stack waiting to be read. I can’t pass by a charity shop without looking at their bookshelves! My study houses a number of books, mostly work related, but there are a few that are fiction, and on my landing are the shelves of books that I have read over the years and to get rid of them would be like getting rid of old friends.
But what is a ‘good read’? What I enjoy may not be what you would like. A good read for me is something that I get lost in, where my imagination is allowed to engage with the text, that I can’t put down. So when I go away on holiday I take a number of books with me because I have the time and space to sit and read until the book is finished.
There is a very old joke about two goats who find a roll of film (it is an old joke – who has rolls of film nowadays?) of a well known book. Being goats they ate it, but then one said to the other, “that was OK but I preferred the book”. I always prefer the book; I love holding a book, and though my Kindle is great for saving space, the comfort of having a book in my hand will never go away.
The Bible is also a good read. A friend gave me a Bible in a Year as a birthday present. To be honest I have a number of Bibles and I wasn’t really expecting it to make a difference – yet this version has been for me the most readable, and because you read several chapters a day, it makes sense. I love making connections from the Old Testament to the New, from the written word to life today. I love being in a Bible study group and being able to talk with others about what is written. Book Clubs are all the rage today, yet Bible study Groups have been the Bible’s Book Club for years!
If you are going on holiday and taking some books with you, I wonder – what have you chosen and why? If you have time to sit and read at home, what is by the side of your chair? If eyesight is a problem, then the RNIB have a fantastic library of the spoken word, and if you travel in a car do you have talking books to accompany you?
I can’t imagine a world without books, and authors are being as creative as ever – and they are starting so young. I listened to the final of the Radio 2, 2018, 500 word story competition for children. If you haven’t heard The Poo Fairy! or A God Vacancy or Dancing on the Streets may I encourage you to go to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0698whm – you will have to listen as they are not written, but they are well worth it!
So take time out to have a good read, and include in that your Bible – for remember Jesus is the Word, the LOGOS; God spoke the world into being, and we have the most amazing book of God, which we are free to read and discuss and own! So – happy reading, whatever you choose.
Lord God, you spoke and creation formed,
you spoke through prophets and sometimes your people listened, other times they ignored you.
You came in the Living Word, Jesus, and the authorities tried to destroy him.
We thank you for the way we can communicate through the written word.
May we take care how we use words today for the power of words can build and destroy.
Thank you for those who have the gift of writing and for the gift of reading.
Prayers for August written by Denise Creed
You can download this Prayer for the Week as a pdf here