One of my goals for this new year is to expand my mind by reading classic literature. I remember learning in school who wrote the great books of the past, but we never really tackled any of those books. It is likely that if we had I would not have been interested anyway, as the only thing I took very seriously in my teenage years was honing my ability to drain three pointers and dribble behind my back. Since the NBA has refused to recognize my abilities I now look for other things to occupy my time. One thing I now believe I missed out on in my formative years was an exposure to great literature. I have always loved to read, but have never been a huge fan of works of fiction. They always seemed frivolous and unimportant. I have typically chosen books that dealt with what I perceived as important issues such as politics, theology, and history. However, I recently discovered that truly great literature does deal with such things in a way that challenges the way I think, while also entertaining me.
I have been devouring The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky for a week or so now and I cannot get enough. The richness of character development, along with the depth of the story has completely captivated me. And the political and theological discussions within the book keep me arguing with myself long after the book has been put down. The book is rather intimidating, but once the intimidation factor is overcome the reward that awaits is well worth it. There will be upcoming posts as I feel I simply must flesh out some of the ideas contained. Some of the other books I plan to tackle in the upcoming year are no less daunting, but I hope all will be as fulfilling as this one has been up to this point.
As a side note and parting thought I simply must sing the praises of my Kindle. I put off purchasing an e-reader for some time now because I did not want to pay for everything I wanted to read. We frequent the library, and most of what I want is available there. I had no idea that most of the old books that I really love are available for free on the Kindle. My mother-in-law surprised me with a Kindle for Christmas and since then I have downloaded over fifty books while paying for only three of them. Public domain books can be found for free download. There are a multitude of great histories, works of theology, and classics available for the taking. The problem is that now so many are available at my fingertips that it becomes difficult to stay focused on just one. I feel like a spoiled kid on Christmas morning flitting back and forth between the multitude of treasures within my grasp.