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Reading Old Books


By heath - Posted on 17 January 2006

I heard a quote recently about C.S. Lewis saying that every third book we read should be from a different century. He says that this will help us see our cultural blind spots.

Many people read books from the same group of authors if not the same author. Some only read mainstream evangelicals, others only charismatic writers, still others only reformed writers. Reading old books would help us break out of our own tradition enough to see beyond the set of problems usually addressed by the books we read and might help us to see issues that authors of our own culture fail to see because they all have very similar lives.

Sometimes we avoid old book because we think they will be difficult or irrelevant. However, classics, Lewis says, are classics because they are so accessible and I would add relevant. Surviving the test of time is proof that they are readable and relevant.

I haven't picked my "old book" yet, but I am planning to. I have a few seminary that I could reread. I am sure it would do me good. It's not like I really remember all of what is in them. Plus, I am a different person now: I am sure I would different ideas would stick out to me.

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Ya, I had heard that quote as well and there is something to it. Have you decided on your "old" book yet?

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