Do You Ever Feel Guilty Reading Fiction? by James L. Rubart
August 14, 2012 9 Comments
Do you ever feel like you should be reading something ‘more spiritual?’ Like the latest bestselling non-fiction title? The one that promises to do your laundry, mow your lawn, and turn the negative way you feel about your snooty neighbor into a gusher of love?
Has anyone ever made you feel bad about reading too much fiction? Don’t let them. Keep reading stories.
The reality is, stories stick with us far longer than five points and two wrap up action steps. Stories embed their way into our soul. And they resurface at times when three bullet points wouldn’t come close to the comfort those stories bring.
(It always cracks me up when I hear of a preacher who says, “Christians shouldn’t be reading fiction! They should be reading the Word, or non-fiction only!” I want to tell them about this man many consider the greatest story teller of all-time named Jesus, but I think my point would go screaming over their head like a rocket.)
I realize some Christian fiction has a high fluff factor, but even in those there are messages of truth and comfort and hope.
Still feel guilty? Then do this. When you finish your next novel, write down two things the stories stirred in you. The truths the story revealed. Then meditate on those truths till you’re finished with your next novel. Then do it again.
)And yes, of course you can do this with one of the CR staff’s novels, are you kidding?)
Do you ever feel guilty reading fiction? Why? And if you do, what do you do to stop feeling that way?