I love books. Big fat books, old worn books, illustrated children’s books, coffee table books. I like the smell of old paper and the feel of soft leather and the sprawling, tumbling cacophony of words and ideas highlighted on earmarked pages.
But I’ve noticed that not everyone shares my penchant for paperbacks. In fact, there are a whole lot of people out there who chuck reading completely—preferring to click the remote or rock it to an iTunes video.
So how do you reach someone who NEEDS guidance and information, but is resistant to reading?
Right now on another post, secularist readers are trying to convince me that public nudity is no big deal. This convinces me that they have not learned to appreciate the intrinsic dignity of the human body; but what shall I say? “Here—Enjoy this copy of Mulieris Dignitatum”? Umm…. I don’t think so.
This may seem obvious, but I think there’s a problem in that so many good Catholic books are written for readers—that is, for people who are already on the same page, and people who enjoy learning more about their already-held positions. But for the uninitiated? It’s tough sometimes to find good teaching materials that won’t be summarily dismissed, tossed into the recycle bin, by their intended audience.
Fiction can sometimes sneak in under the rails and impart a message; so when sci-fi author Dean Koontz’ 20-year-old short order cook Odd Thomas heads to the mall, wary of bodachs and hopeful about his future with Stormy Llewellyn, you learn a lesson about character and faithfulness. I was pleased when a friend of mine, an enthusiastic Koontz fan, exclaimed, “What? Koontz is CATHOLIC?!” Proof-positive, I thought, that the novel could reach its intended audience, teaching values without overt religiosity.
Here are just a few of the titles I’ve recommended for Un-Readers.
- For the seeker who is beginning to ask whether God exists: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Or (oh my gosh, yes!) Amy Welborn’s Prove It! God
- For the young woman who loves historical fiction, but who thinks religion is “meh”: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
- For the evangelical who thinks all religions are the same: more christianity by Fr. Dwight Longenecker
- For the young adult who could use a lesson in JPII’s Theology of the Body: Dr. Gregory Popcak’s Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving
- For a young person who reads the comics and not the classics, but who needs to have the Faith delivered to his doorstep: Matt Pinto and Jason Evert’s Did Jesus Have a Last Name? And 199 Other Questions from Catholic Teenagers.
I need more ideas, though. Please tell me, what books should I tuck into my gift drawer, ready to present when the time is right?