At first I thought I’d title this post, “Where Have All The Good Books Gone?” But then I thought, no, that’s not fair. There are a lot of good books out there. I’ve read them. My friends have read them. My friends have written them. I’ve written one book which I’ve been told is good, and I’m working hard on more. But I don’t necessarily mean ‘good’ in the sense of a keep you up all night reading way. I mean good as in virtuously good.
Stay with me here.
As summer is fast approaching, I’m making my reading list. While I do write a lot during my time up in the Canadian north, I also like to read. Last night I scanned Amazon for some books to download to my iPad. And came away wanting. I typed in Romance, since that’s what I write and love to read. First mistake. Then I scanned the Best Seller List. Read some of the reviews of the first three books on that list and simply stared. While I am not opposed to reading secular fiction and I read a lot of it, there are definitely things I won’t read. The books currently on that list…well, let’s just say I won’t be downloading them. Fifty Shades of Gray and its sequels kind of made my eyebrows hit my hairline.
Is this what the average educated (I’m making an assumption here) wants to read? While I did note that the first book has over two thousand five star reviews, it also has half that in one star reviews. So maybe not everybody is fascinated by what is called an ‘erotic novel’ in its description. Maybe I’m not the only one pretty disgusted by this. Maybe there are a few people left in the world who want to read good, wholesome books. Books that don’t keep you up half the night replaying violent or disturbing scenes in your head. Books that put a smile on your face and make you wish you hadn’t just turned that final page.
What happened to Happily Ever After? What happened to ’till death do us part? I don’t know about you, but I love happy endings. I want to foster the belief that true romance still exists. I want to support the sanctity of marriage. I believe in it with all my heart. I’ll be celebrating twenty-six years of marriage with my husband on Wednesday. While it hasn’t all been easy, I wouldn’t change a minute. And I’ll take twenty-six more thank you very much. And twenty-six more after that…if we live that long. You get the picture though. Marriage today has become an endangered species. That makes me sad.
I’ve heard people who don’t read Inspirational fiction say it’s too preachy, too silly, too happy. Okay, maybe there are some books out there that fit that description, but I read a ton of Inspirational Fiction. I talk to a lot of Christian authors. I read their reviews and I listen to what people are saying. And I am hopeful that we are standing in the gap. When readers don’t want what this world is offering, we must step in and give them more. Give them a story to remember. A story that will make them laugh, weep, question, and hope. And perhaps, if we’re doing our job well, bring them just a little closer to God. At the very least, make them wonder if there isn’t more to this whole Jesus thing than they thought.
It is a high calling.
It is why I do what I do.
Thanks for the reminder, Amazon.
If you’re looking for ‘good’ books, I recommend you check out Fiction Finder. This is a search engine put out through American Christian Fiction Writers. If you’ve never read Inspirational Fiction before, give it a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Let’s talk: How do you feel about the books on the shelves today? Read any good ones lately?