C.S. Lewis once wrote that in order to learn to swim one must be buoyant in the water, and in order to be buoyant in the water one must swim. Learning to read books is much like this. One must know how to read in order to learn to read. To learn to read well, we need others early on to help us make discoveries in our books (see Adler’s point about aided and unaided discoveries). As the author, this is why I focus so much of Lit! on inspiring capable readers in the church to find and help struggling readers.
My first and primary audience for Lit! is the competent reader. A few readers have suggested the contrary, that I wrote the book to directly reach isolated non-readers who live disconnected from the local church community. That’s not the case, as I seek to explain in chapters 13 (Reading Together) and 14 (Raising Readers). This book is a tool for parents, pastors, and lit professors, and for any Christian who wants to reach out to non-readers they love.
Recommending the book to a friend is a critical step if this book will actually benefit struggling readers. Actually, walking through the book with them is even better, a teamwork that provides the initial buoyancy that frees me to open the book building critical theological pillars that will undergird lifelong reading habits. But it does go back to the spreaders in the church — the competent readers — and the incredible role they have in encouraging non-readers to take up and read.
It appears that a good number of readers see the vision behind Lit! They have become the spreaders. I am grateful for them because they are the ones who bring purpose and value to the entire project.
One thought on “The Intended Audience for Lit!”
My dad bought your book for me while he was at a conference last year. I grew up reading and both enjoyed and appreciated your book.
I don’t know if you have heard of the Omnibus curriculum. Each school year students are given about forty book covering theology, history, and literature. These range from the Chronicles of Narnia to the Epic of Gilgamesh. The problem is some adults look at these books and think that a thirteen year old is unable to understand Sproul’s Holiness of God or the lewdity in 1984 is too much for a fifteen year old.
Your book explained both why reading books is worthwhile and how reading books with developing minds is a large investment in their spiritual walk.
Thank you for your hard work and I look forward to reading more from your blog.