I Need To Read More Fiction

I say it every time I finish reading a good book: I need to read more fiction. Normally, check I read non-fiction: theology books, no rx commentaries, patient philosophy etc. I poo-poo the need to read fiction, until I actually sit down with a good book, and then I say to myself, “self, you need to read more fiction. This is fantastic!”

I finished and submitted my papers last weekend, and spent the next four days devouring Storm of Swords, the third book in G.R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire Series. I’ve now started book 4, and book 5 should be arriving in the post any day now. If Chuck’s not careful, I might end up getting to the post office before him and reading A Dance with Dragons before he does!

This week also saw the blogosphere abuzz with the latest tizzy about comments that a celebrity pastor made on Facebook. As I read through my google reader every morning, I couldn’t help but think “bored now“. (And you know that whenever a red-head says ‘bored now’ you need to watch out). I had more exciting things to read, like finding out what happens to Tyrion, Arya, Brienne, and Jon.

I get the appeal of controversy. It’s great for blog hits. I learned this after Rob Bell’s book came out. The posts I did on that hoopla still generate hits for my blog.

But, maybe the difference is that this new celebrity controversy occurred while it is summer. I want to be outside in the backyard, enjoying the heat and sunshine and a good book. It’s not winter. I’m not trapped inside while it’s 40 below. There is life outside the house! There is life outside the blogosphere! There is life outside theology! (Hey, wait a minute…life outside theology?! Let’s not go too crazy).

The keepers of all things biblioblog have reorganized and set some parameters on what constitutes a true biblioblog. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been contemplating moving to a more biblioblog format. That way I could be part of the rankings. But, no. I like writing about random things. I like ‘cheese-wearing‘ aspect of my blog. If I want to write about theology, I’ll write about theology. If I want to write about biblical studies, I’ll write about biblical studies. If I want to write about crazy random thoughts that pop into my head, I can do that too. It’s about creativity and having fun. If I’m not having fun writing on my blog then it no longer serves its purpose.

And that’s what I like about fiction. It allows me to read something ‘other’, to get lost in a world far far away. It activates my imagination, and gives me ideas to explore.

So how about it? Care to join me outside in the sunshine? Find a good long book and sit out in the backyard with a nice glass of lemonade, and lots of sunscreen and bug spray. How different would the next blogosphere controversy look if we all walked away from our computers and headed outside with a book or two tucked under our arms?

  • Hear Hear! I am reading more and more about science fiction lately. Question: do you know of any churches that have done outreach to sci fi fans (books and film)?

    Just a question.

    • I don’t know of a single church that has done that. What a great idea though.

      • According to Chad, his former church plant Eikon did. All of this sci fi reading I am doing (to take breaks from theology and economics) has given me a new awareness for “outreach”/ministry.

  • Hi Amanda. I’ve just come across your blog via a link from Rachel Held Evans, so I’m just catching up with some of your recent posts and have added your feed to my Reader. I agree that we ought to read more fiction, though in my case perhaps I need to slow it down a little. Reading or watching fiction, I believe, is a great way to understand how others in our culture are thinking about the human condition. Sometimes those insights can be very profound, whether that is in “serious” literary fiction or more popular stuff. I wish those of us in pastoral ministry did more of this.

    Although I am a British Anglican minister living in the UK, my eldest son lives in the Greater Toronto Area with his Canadian wife. I know that Bruxy Cavey at The Meeting House is a great fan of Babylon 5 (as well as zombie movies) and often uses clips to introduce or illustrate his sermons. I don’t know if this counts as mission/outreach to sci-fi fans though.

    • Revsimmy,
      I didn’t know that Bruxy Cavey used B5 clips in his sermons! That is awesome!
      I’ve used Star Trek, Firefly and the Terminator as illustrations in a few sermons. I try to not geek out too much in my sermons. ‘Try’ and usually fail at restraining my sci-fi enthusiasm. 🙂