13 October 2006

The Way I See It #169


Life’s too short to read a book you don’t love. At age 50 or younger give a book 50 pages to see if you like it. Over 50, subtract your age from 100 and that’s the number of pages to read before you bail on a book you’re not enjoying. And
when you turn 100, you get to judge a book by its cover! --Nancy Pearl (Librarian and author of Book Lust)
I don’t really believe a librarian is thinking about the way these words could be taken. Aren’t you glad your teachers didn’t have this philosophy in high school and college? Think of how bland and stupid you would be if you never read books that made you sleepy, books that made you angry, or books that made your head ache with bewilderment.
Let’s consider where this "read only what you like" way of thinking leads—Here is a perspective on life which is determined to live by the darkness of one’s own mind. These are ears which itch to hear only the echo of the emptiness between them. These are hearts which are hardened in their foolishness. These are necks which will bend only to the cruelest of masters: sin and death.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.--Proverbs 2:1–8.


Tim Barker said...

Interesting perespective. I do think the quote is a conversation stareter. Baylor and I were talking about this over the weekend. When do you lay a book down and say it's not worth my investment?

It's a tough call. Some books really do waste your time. You get a little way into them, and then you wrestle with the school checklist mentality, "oh I have to read this book from cover to cover to say I read it."

Do you have a stopping point on some books? What is the point to throw in the towel?

BTW: I am making a trip to Detroit this week. Perhaps we can see about catching up over that time for a little while. I'll give you a call.

Loren Marino said...

Hey, I have tried to get in touch with you, but can't find your email address. Please add me to the Northland Blog list. Lorenmarino@blogspot.com.

Jeremy Pittsley said...

Someone who has been a student in a particular discipline does have the right to judge the worth of a book after 50 pages (hopefully picking the 50 pgs from strategic spots throughout the book).

My impression was that the quote was advocating "just read what you enjoy reading." That kind of mindset is an excellent way to prevent a balanced approach to anything.

T. Baylor said...

You are a delinquent blogger.

T. Baylor said...


Jeremy Pittsley said...


T. Baylor said...

- logeo

Anonymous said...

I seem to have been removed from the NBBC blogger list. I didn't mean to offend anyone by mentioning BJU in my blog. : ) If you would like to re-add me to the list, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have received quite a few hits from your blog the last couple of days. I have searched and cannot find a link to my site. So I was just writing to introduce myself and let you know that I appreciate the traffic.

As to your post. I think the truth still remains that people do predominantly read what interest them. As to your statement...'Think of how bland and stupid you would be if you never read books that made you sleepy, books that made you angry, or books that made your head ache with bewilderment.' I would have to disagree with you. I feel it is a hard line to draw between being 'Stupid' and not being interested in a certain topic. I saw Mrs. Pearls quote as more directed to recreation reading. Would you agree that if she meant it toward recreation reading that it would be almost self-defeating to spend time, effort and money on book you do not enjoy? My other thought process is to put some amount of responsibility on the writer. Isn't the job of the author to make the topic interesting.

On the other hand I am completely in agreement, we should puch ourselves to read things that may seem laborious and yet I would not conclude that because a book makes one angry or hurts their head they are not interested.

I just didn’t want to stop by without commenting. Very interesting post about the popular thought provokers. I believe this is the first time I have ever given serious thought to 'The Way I see It's.

Keep blogging and stop by http://www.jowiki.net

Josh King

I would also love to hear your take on the 'Independent Baptist' classification.

Jeremy Pittsley said...

I was engrossed in a school assignment at the time I read the cup, so I naturally applied it to assigned reading. Or I took it to apply to all reading, assigned reading included.

It would be self-defeating to read books that do not interest you for recreational reading. What would be the point of that?!

However, I felt that the quote implied that we should treat all our reading like recreational reading.

That didn't seem like a very good way to see it at all.

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