January 17, 2012

Read the Books You Read About In Books!

I like to read. When I was in school (and by "school", I mean at any institution where I was being told what to read) I was not a fan of reading. And by "not a fan" I mean I hated it. And by "hated" I mean loathed! You get the picture. But then, something magical happened. I graduated from seminary and it was like I had been set free from my nonfiction prison, ready to spread my wings and fly through the pages of my own choosing. (Any analogy where you get to be a bird-like person is a good one!) So for the last 13-14 years of my life, I've been a reader. I like to read.

Several years ago, I was reading a book from Louie Giglio. I kept noticing him referencing this A.W. Tozer guy. Then, not long after this, I was reading someone else's book. And they were quoting Tozer as well. Who is this Tozer fella? (That's what my country brain would have said.) It suddenly dawned on me that if these guys I genuinely respect, follow, and look to for advice in areas of spiritual maturity, guidance, and leadership are all quoting this guy, I should probably find out who he is. Find out what he's written. And read it! And so I did. And OMG! if this Tozer guy didn't rock my world! (And still does.)

This was not the only time this happened. This is how I discovered Dallas Willard, as well. I remember some of my friends (while we were in college) asking me, "Who is this C.S. Lewis guy?" After a mild scolding, I began to inundate them with the greatness of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Mere Christianity". Only to later realize that I had only seen the iceberg above the surface when it came to Lewis's works: The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain...the list goes on.

Here's my point: If you're a reader, and you see an author (or moreover, authors) mentioning another author, investigate. When you repeatedly see names like Mark Noll and Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell and A.W. Tozer, there is probably something to that. Then when you read 3 authors in a single year referencing The Tipping Point, you'll know exactly what they're talking about. AND...you'll know exactly WHY they're referencing it. When you love, respect, and read a writer, and they make it a point to tell you who they are reading, pay attention. You might learn more than ever expected.

What writers or books have you discovered from other writers and books?

1 comment:

bekkah said...

i had that same experience with tozer & clive. such a good decision to investigate :] other writers i've "stumbled upon" include:

jon acuff {stuff christians like}
mark driscoll
blaine hoagan
emily p freeman {grace for the good girl}