Do you want your children not only to read good books but to be able to discern for themselves what makes a good book, and what books are worth avoiding?
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable –
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy –
think about such things. Phil 4:8.
Over the years this verse has been my guide in choosing or screening books for my children. There are many books out there in libraries and bookshops that try and entice our children not only away from the virtues that we hold dear in our family but also from a love of learning. These books dish out dumbed down facts and try and tell our children that learning is cool. Learning is far more than cool – learning is a way of life and my children are soaked in learning as an atmosphere in our home. They don’t need to be convinced with crass* books. (crass = inane, ridiculous, stupid and gross)
It has been interesting to watch my older children, who now have more freedom to choose their own books, how they classify these dumbed down books. They really don’t have much time for them. They want meat, they want to read about people alive and with passion and strength of character, they want their minds to be challenged.
My dad recently told me how bank tellers recognize counterfeit - they only work with the real thing. I immediately made the connection that this was exactly what has happened to our children. They have read the real thing for so many years, that they recognize counterfeit immediately.
So I encourage you to be aware of what your children are reading, aim to introduce them to the best; the best of literature, the best of characters, the best of information. It doesn’t have to be dry, it doesn’t have to be boring – in fact if you choose “Living Books”, where the author is passionate about their topic or the character is real and full of life then you will find your children reading good books and recognizing counterfeit immediately.