This week’s question:
Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don’t mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?
I’ve done this often, as there are many novels out there that are written with the sole purpose of making a point. I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand without knowing what it was about, but it is a fiction novel used to present Rand’s philosophy. I recommend it to people sometimes, especially those frustrated with politics. I usually refrain from recommending it often because it is seen negatively by people and I don’t ever like to recommend anything to people that aren’t going to look at it objectively with an open mind.
I learn a lot by picking up a few nonfiction books, too. I had an interest in the psychology of religion and purchased a few of Freud’s essays and Jung’s book to give me more insight. And when I had questions about certain forms of government, I went and picked up a few books, such as The Communist Manifesto.
I also try and recommend fiction novels that aren’t made for the sole purpose of making a point, but have a very good theme that I think can help someone’s outlook. For example, The Radleys by Matt Haig has a wonderful underlying theme about temptation and moderation in life. Fairy tales and children’s fantasy always seem to have lessons about character and the difference between right and wrong, so those are always good choices, too.
I truly think reading is a tool that can help sharpen your mind, so I’m always looking for something I can learn from.