Overcome the Dread of Bed
Choose Living Books
December 11, 2018
Which would you rather read at bedtime: My Little Pony or Winnie the Pooh? “My Little Pony Friends Forever” bores me to tears. While “The House at Pooh Corner” always causes me to tear up at the end. The difference between mind-numbing twaddle and the engaging quality of a living book is pretty easy to spot.
1. Living books are not twaddle.
Adults enjoy well-written children's books. And children gain knowledge from appropriate grown-up literature. School books and free-time fare can all be living books. A little twaddle from time to time is ok but a steady diet of living books is key. Think of it as candy vs Wholesome meals. A little candy is fine from time to time but our steady diet should consist of wholesome food.
2. Living books have inspiring content.
Living books feed worthy thoughts, and contain high literary qualities. They don't present information committee-style with every ounce of personality drained from the text. Growing up, I was home schooled with a well-known textbook curriculum. I remember trudging through the science books trying to be interested and remember the information. The history books, however, really held my interest. I'd be curious to see how and by whom those two spines were compiled. The narrative of history does seem to lend itself to more compelling reading.
3. Living books aren't just old.
Old books, narratives, and Christian-themed books are not the only living books. Math and science can become alive if put in the right hands. God's truth is found all over creation and can come from brilliant minds who may not acknowledge the Source. When I was in college, I was given a book by a sweet elderly lady at church that was over 100 years old. I read it out of gratefulness, but also because I thought all old books were great literature. How wrong I was! It was a slog to get through. But it was an eye-opening experience about what makes a book good.
4. Living books pass ideas from great minds.
You might have a hundred friends sitting on your shelf right now ready to share their best and brightest ideas with you. As my Precious Moments book quips: "I'm thankful for my teachers too who help to stretch my mind and open up new worlds to me with books of every kind.”
5. Living books spark interest.
A kinship is formed with the characters or even the author, and the ideas come to mind later in the day or years later in life. You could probably all name favorite book characters. I am particularly close to Laura Ingalls, Corrie Ten Boom, and Hadassah.
Resources for Living Books:
- Choosing Books Like a Connoisseur
- Facts vs. Ideas
- Living Books Library
- Is New Always Better
- SCM Bookfinder
- Building A Library For Your Child
Avoid bedtime dread by choosing to read living books to your children. Books that will inspire and enrich adult and child alike.