…they’d say, like Ruth in that immortal Old Testament passage, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.”
Anyone who knew me in grade school would tell you that I was a bookworm then. Well, I’m a bookworm still, and I have no intention of reforming.
Many of these books that I’m packing up are old, some of them are new….all of them are my good friends.
Years ago I read an article on bibliotherapy – reading books to help heal emotional or behavioural problems. I can certainly understand how books can be effective therapy. Whenever I need to laugh I pick out any one of James Herriot’s books on his life as a country vet, and I read a few pages. One Christmas when I was miserably sick in bed, I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia. And Rebecca got me through some dark days. You’d think that it might have driven me off the deep end, but surprisingly it had the opposite effect – maybe because my problems shrank in comparison to those of the second Mrs. De Winter’s.
I had a relative who was an alcoholic agnostic. As he was dying of cancer at age forty five, he was given The Screwtape Letters to read. This genius of a book helped him recognize himself and die reconciled to the faith of his childhood.
Books can be a wonderful preventative medicine, too. Sitting quietly and reading is a great way to counteract the barrage of stimuli that we get exposed to these days.
Sometimes on my bus to work I see a young mom reading to her little girl. This mom knows that reading to kids or with kids is the best investment of time an adult can make.
But don’t read just any old thing – read good books, great books that will introduce them – and you – to different worlds, fascinating characters, and stories of heroism, nobility and courage that can provide us all with a road map for our own lives.
A friend of mine once told me, “You just haven’t found the right one,” when I said I didn’t like beer. He was right. So I have the same advice for people who say they don’t like to read – you just haven’t found that one book that’s bound to capture your imagination and get you hooked.
Finding that one book can be an adventure in itself – I do hope you’ll give it a try.