Growing up, my Grandparent’s house was a bibliophile’s paradise. Bookshelves scaled the walls, covering them like wallpaper. As a small child, my eyes would grow wide in amazement at how two people could possibly have so many books, or so much time to read them all.
As the years went by, the bookshelves in my Grandparent’s house diminished. Though they still climbed to the ceiling, they were no longer wallpaper. Instead, they could be contained in a few small rooms. On asking my Grandad why this was the case, he told me the following;
“I have learnt to read only the best books, Alexandra, and to read them over and over again.”
The Best Books
Francis Bacon once said
‘Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested’ (Essays: 1597).
Truth is, it can be hard to find those ‘chew-and-digest books’ — and many of them remain hidden on lonely bedside tables. However, this new series aims to highlight those few, fully consumable books — lifting them from the bedside table to the blogosphere.
Though God’s Word should be the main focus of our diet, since it alone can satisfy the soul, wider reading can still teach us something in our spiritual walk. We want to find books that expand our hearts and minds, that challenge us to think in ways we’ve never thought before and that help us better make Jesus first, best and last.
Sometimes however, reading can perhaps seem a little…old fashioned. Particularly in an age of bitesize videos and online articles, having a heavy book in the bottom of your bag may not seem all that attractive. But studies have shown that the reading, particularly on paper, stimulates the mind, can reduce stress, increases knowledge and vocabulary, improves memory, strengthens analytical thinking, increases empathy and improves focus and concentration. In short, it has the ability to make us smarter, better and less stressed humans. Excellent.
On My Bedside Table
We’ve asked a number of different individuals; from speakers to students, professionals to professors, to review their favourite bedside reads. So, look out for monthly posts from ‘On My Bedside Table’ and prepare yourself to read the best books, and to read them over and over again.
Alex does editing-things for GYC Europe