Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just a little book talk

Oh, my friends... my stacks are nice and neat but you should see them when they've fallen over on the floor! At least I keep all my library books on a captain's chair next to the breakfront. Especially those I borrow from the library that charges for late books and DVDs.

I still enjoy coming home from a library sale and dumping all the books out on the living room carpeting... going through each new (and cheap) treasure. I don't enjoy finding a place to put them.

When we were in our elementary school years of homeschooling, kid's books were still a quarter a piece at the sales. We'd come home with three grocery bags of books at a time. Friends who started homeschooling even earlier told me you could still find plenty of Landmark books for a quarter before that... they were popular enough that one was fortunate to find them later. Now all books are at least a dollar but still a great deal.

I didn't attend the last two library sales, feeling my budget must go to living expenses and eating instead. As much as I love books, I love eating even more (even in the summer when I don't have much of an appetite). :)

I was asked if we read the Harry Potter books. Well, it probably won't surprise you that we didn't. I was very careful about the books, films, and TV that both my kids watched when they were young because of my past experiences. I was even known to be careful what families my children spent the night with if I thought they would be exposed to defiling videos.

When I was a teenager, I loved Dark Shadows... hurrying home from school to watch it on TV. Because of that show, I took a journey into the occult for awhile. Thankfully, I came to learn better and threw all that away but it showed me the power of "story" influencing young minds.

Of course, Christopher is now free to read them if he wants and he did watch one or two of the movies when it was on TV. The older he got, the more freedom he had in his choices. Because of my past experience, I prefer not to bring into the home anything that remotely glorifies witchcraft or the occult.

However, I fully understand there are Christians who did read and enjoy the series. I don't put anyone down as each family is different. Christopher and I watched and enjoyed a few Japanese anime' series when he was young, something I know a few Christian families would not watch because of their Eastern religion worldview. (Which we discussed as we watched them.)

I think we can overdo screening our children's literature. There was a website years ago when we first started homeschooling where the mother preached against books like Anne of Green Gables because the girls got into trouble. Hello... isn't that the point of the literature? Anne learned from the consequences of her bad decisions and our children learned along with her.

Stephanie has a friend who doesn't read books to her children that have animals talking (no Narnia???) because they do not talk in real life. Although she certainly doesn't agree, she knows she must respect her friend's opinion as a parent.

At the same time, I wanted to keep both of my children as undefiled as possible (when they were young) by the worst the world has to offer. I had no filters on what I read or saw as a child... including some of the vilest magazines and books available at the time. How I wish there had been a gatekeeper to protect me from those visual images.

As both of my kids became a teenager and (of course) a young adult... they had more control of their reading materials as well as videos (now DVDs). The older they got, the more I wanted them to use their own discernment.

So... all that to say I don't put people down because of what they choose to read... or watch... or what Bible translation they use. I'm not hesitant to say what we have decided as a family and give the reasons why (as with my past experiences with the occult) but when my best friend at the time couldn't wait until the next Harry Potter book came out... it didn't hurt our friendship. (She moved away, that is why she is no longer my best friend here at home) :)

Oh, the Elizabeth George I mentioned is the one who wrote A Woman After God's Own Heart, which is one of her books I've reread often.

I've seen the novelist Elizabeth George books at library sales. I loved watching the Inspector Lynley series on PBS Mystery, which was based on one of her books. It was so interesting.

As so many comments said... so many books, so little time.

Picture: A Good Book;


scrappy quilter said...

I totally agree with you 100%. Awesome post!!

Vee said...

We often think alike like today. I never could get over those Christian parents, though, who wouldn't allow their children to enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia. It often hinged on the She was evil. ;D

Thanks for the information on the Tea Shop Mysteries. John's been checking it out for me at the bookstores. So far the cheapest offering is $10 each. Must be a hardcover book. I definitely want to find the paperback as my grandmother finds them easier to hold.

Anonymous said...

This is off the subject but I so enjoy the Miss Marple and Foyle's War series on PBS. Also, of course, the Jane Austen and Charles Dickens series they've done.

Friend Debra

Beth said...

I love lots of the same books and shows that you love and I also feel that I couldn't let my kids watch or read the Harry Potter series. My now grown daughter recently watched or read them but I have not let my younger kids.
I am concerned about the Twilight series. I haven't heard anything from Christians about it...I'd LOVE it if someone could leave me a comment on my blog. I have a younger daughter who wants to read it...she is 12.
Thanks, anyone, for any feedback!

Susan B said...

Hi Brenda,
I so agree with the last line of your post. lol! And your last post...I have so many books waiting to be read! Like the previous commenter I started reading The Tea Shop Mysteries last year when you mentioned them in a post. I've enjoyed the series very much.

I've also read a couple of Inspector Lynley (Elizabeth George) books, and enjoyed the programs on PBS. Right now we are enjoying Miss Marple on PBS. I've read a few of Agatha Christie's books. Inspector Lewis is coming up the end of next month on PBS.

I hope you are having a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

The song we learned as little children in church keeps coming to my mine...the one that goes...Be careful little eyes what you see, Be careful little eyes what you see...Cause the Father up above is looking down with love ..Oh be careful little eyes what you see. Second verse..Be careful little ears what you hear...Third verse Be careful little mouth what you say..and so on. I know that once I have seen or heard something it stays with me and many times I have wished I never had been exposed to it. Less I and less you have to try to forget! They say all you have to do on tv is turn the channel and not watch...well when you turn you still get a glimps of it and the next channels garbage as you keep flipping and it only takes a glance to realize what it is and then it is in your brain and mind. I am just sorry for some of the garbage I have allowed to enter my mind. But Oh, there are soooo many beautiful stories. I just finished Glen Beck's novel The Christmas Sweater. It is a good easy read and a wonderful story. It is written in a boy's perspective and time about 1970 but his kid thoughts any of us can remember feeling so it brings back our childhood to us too. The message is in there...+ Mr Beck added another chapter at the end of his own personal thinking on faith too. I usually have 3-4 books I am reading at the same time. Mostly cause some of them I love so much I hate to end them and know they are done :) Brenda I love your book {and any other} always have new insites and such a wonderful way with words. Thankyou again, Jody

alecat said...

You shared very similar sentiments as I hold, but I don't think I'd have written it all so carefully as you.:)

It certainly is a tricky subject and one that needs to have careful thought before expounding reasons 'why' or 'why not' with regard to literature.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Kind regards,
(Cathy) alecat

Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what you have said here and thanks for posting this one. We did not choose as wisely or well when I was homeschooling our children, though we were certainly more careful than many others. I think one thing that we are facing today, yes, within churches and christian bookstores even, is that much of what is there does not pass the test of Phillipians 4:8. The more we read in Scripture, the more we are convinced the wisest path is to seek what the WORD says...somehow it just does not follow that our Creator wants us doing what pleases us necessarily. HE has given us plenty of guidelines to govern our lives with. And HE has said that HIS yoke is easy and HIS burden is light. HE is so happy to guide us in yes, even what we read for pleasure. HIS ways are best. We are learning more about listening to HIS voice and not overriding the small quiet voice guiding us. It is a lifelong thing...this learning to follow HIM I think. We have failed so often, but still HE loves us and gently guides us.