Monday, April 23, 2007

Reading Books Instead of Blogs

What an odd title, I know, given that it adorns a blog. But my strange title is no accident. As I've been thinking some this past week about blogs, this thought occurred to me: we ought not to spend much time on blogs. Some time is fine, but I fear that much of the time we used to devote to reading books is now given to reading blogs.

I personally don't read many blogs. I don't have much time. I enjoy reading blogs when I can, but I am glad that my job and school commitments require me to do alot of book reading. Good books are worth far more time that television, the Internet, and magazines combined. In good books, authors take time to develop their thoughts, to make arguments, to push the reader to consider things he otherwise would not consider on a scale he otherwise he would not encounter. There are definitely blogs I've found that are worth reading (why else would I have a list of links?), but it is my practice to spend little time on these sites unless I have a great deal of free time. At that point, it's fun to catch up. But on a regular basis, I try to limit my blog reading in order to allow myself to read as many books as I can in order to develop and delight the mind God has given me.

I'm not asking you to stop reading this blog. Please keep reading this blog. It's fine to read blogs, I think, provided you're being spiritually and intellectually fed by good books. But if reading this blog and other blogs stops you from reading, say, rich spiritual works, I would encourage you to drop your blog readership from a number of those sites. I hope you don't have to, but if that means you drop consumed, I'll be sad to see you go. If you must do so, though, I'll understand, and I'll be glad for you. After all, you'll be plunging into a world of great depth and richness of discovery--the world of books.


Blogger Dad said...

Owen, just so you will know. I read one of my daughter's blogs, which she up-dates very infrequently, by the way, so not much reading there, and your's!! And I agree, if I have time a check out a few of your links and have found a few others, but it is only if I have lot's of time.

I confess I don't get in as much reading as I would like to or use to. Good admonition.

Al (Not Owen's dad or that other Al.)

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young man, have you read Thucydides?

3:10 PM  
Blogger blake white said...

Good word. I gotta go read.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...


Thanks for the comments. One thing I fend helpful is to recognize your intentions for reading; that is, to know up front WHY you are reading a particular thing and to adjust your reading speed and intensity accordingly.

I tend to read news to be aware of what's going on, but this is a much less intense reading than a biography, where I am trying to learn from how the person interacts with the events in their world.

Or, I might read a blog to think about different perspectives on an issue, but it is far less intense reading than a book of theology, which is backed and supported by careful research (hopefully) and thoughtful meditation.

That way, I don't spend hours carefully studying the informal, spur of the moment comments of bloggers rather than the deep and thoughtful meditations of church fathers.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

This is a good word. I agree totally. I have seen myself read fewer books since I began blogging more, and it's not the writing that takes up so much time! It's the surfing around commenting on friends and catching up with a whole stream of people's blogs.

All that to say. . . I have a book beckoning. Gotta go. . .

7:25 PM  

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