My husband and I were recently on vacation, and we visited another congregation for worship. The Pastor there, in his sermon, mentioned that everything in our life is stewardship; i.e. stewardship is not just about how we use our money, time and talents for the church, but how we use our entire life in service to Christ. That means everything we do can strengthen or weaken our Christian walk.
So, in going with that thought, as readers, the things we read and the way we read is important. It’s part of the stewardship of our life that God expects of each one of us. I have always felt that God speaks to me through my reading– and not just my “religious” reading–not only the Bible, or Christian books, but EVERYTHING. Often, without planning on my part, I’ll find myself reading books with a similar theme or topic, and I know it’s something God means for me to study or think about. Sometimes I read a book out of obligation — I need to review it for the blog, or a friend loans it to me–only to find it is just what I needed at the time. I truly believe that God speaks to us in ways that come naturally to us, and for me, reading is one of those ways. I don’t like surprises and thunderbolts — I need to mull things over and gradually come to my acceptance or conclusion. God uses reading to help me do this.
This book, The Art of Mindful Reading, is not a Christian book, but a book that can help you, as a Christian, to pay attention to your reading. Maybe, like me, you’ll find that it is one way God speaks to you. The author is a bibliotherapist — you’re probably wondering what that is. Here’s how Ms. Berthoud describes her work:
“My job involves looking at the entire person–their life, their tastes, their passions, desires, hopes, dreams and any issues they may have. I then prescribe the ideal books for them to read right now–according to what is happening in their lives at the moment, what new paths they might be taking or what major life events are happening to them. I aim to give the right books to the right people at the right time in their lives, and therefore I take reading as a pastime very seriously.”
Hmmm… I might say God is my bibliotherapist!
This is a beautiful little book, and you’ll learn all sorts of things about how reading is good for you. With every book you read, you can live a life different from your own. You learn about different people, places and times. It creates empathy with others. In addition, reading affects your physical and mental health. Did you know that readers of fiction live, on average, two years longer than non-readers? Reading slows your heart rate, and as your eyes move back and forth across the page, it creates a stress-reducing, meditative state.
The author helps you to determine what kind of reader you are, makes suggestions for creating your own special reading space, gives suggested exercises for reading more deeply (mindfully) and journaling about your reading.
VERDICT: 5 stars. I loved it. Readers! Run out and get a copy today!