04 November 2004

Prostitute Writer?

"A writer discovers a workable plot and writes the same book over and over all his life to the immense satisfaction of his readers. The readers can feel literary without thinking or dealing with truth. Prostitute writer." Eugene Peterson in More than Words

This quote was written in the context of a discussion of the negativity of programs replacing the real work of the church – which is in my mind a valid point. Then I started to think about the implications of the quote as it relates to reading. (Thus it's inclusion here.)

So, my question is this: does all reading need to make you think and deal with truth? I certainly don't always read looking for deep thought or nuggets of truth. Sometimes I read just for enjoyment, to pass the time with a book that doesn't require much of me. It's fairly obvious that the Dan Brown books fit into the category of "writing the same book over and over again", as do the books by Brian Jacques that the kids enjoy. I don't think I feel particularly literary when reading that type of book. They're just for entertainment.

As I struggle with this quote, I'm having a hard time bringing myself to say that I think it's wrong to read books are not chock full of life changing insights. But, I am pretty sure that a reading diet of nothing but this type of book would be very off-balance. (Which may be more what he is trying to say. Not sure.)

Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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