Can books changes lives? We all know the Bible can and does.
But what about fiction?
Thinking back on my own reading experiences, I would have to say yes. Reading awakened me to the beauty and strength of words and stories. Stories transport me to worlds I never knew and other worlds I have no way of knowing. They open my eyes to the ways of people of different cultures and time periods. Books fueled a life-long desire to learn. I know I’m a different person because of books.
The first book I remember reading was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. Farley’s writing opened my eyes to the world of horses, to life in Arabia, and to the spunk of a boy about my age at the time. I still remember being transported to that place, to that world, and being immersed in it.
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron took the historical facts of the Holocaust and made them real through the characters he brought to life. He humanized that devastating time in ways no history book could.
Do my own books change lives? I’d like to think so. I hope my books not only entertain, but also encourage people there is always hope, that no matter how difficult life gets, we can get through it with God.
I’ve received letters and comments from readers thanking me for my stories because they show people handling real life struggles and tragedies with God’s help. One reader said he appreciated how my characters had natural and believable relationships with God without my cramming it down the readers’ throats.
One of my beta readers asked me not to change a scene in my book because it brought her closer to God. In my prayer time later, God revealed to me that, even if my book was never published, it accomplished his purpose because it her closer to him.
What book changed your life? How?
Do books change lives? Absolutely!
Ayn Rand’s books made me feel like someone finally clarified what I believe about taking joy in the gifts God gave us. I read her books every so often because they help me feel grounded in this crazy world. I just found Bella Forrest and love her series “The Gender Game” and “The Girl Who Dared to Think”. I’m devouring them. I know they’re written for teens, but I still like them. Glenn Beck’s fiction is amazing. “Overton Window” changed my life, I see that application all the time now. So yes, fiction, possibly more than non-fiction, can change lives, because it allows us to step into a world not our own and, if it’s really good, experience relationships, situations, that we would never be able to otherwise. The first book I remember feeling that way about was “Where the Red Fern Grows”, when I was a kid. I was sobbing and absolutely inconsolable. I still remember my mom running into my room asking me what was wrong because she was sure something terrible had happened. It had! Only it was in the book. When I’m immersed in a good book, it’s like nothing around me exists in that moment and I can’t wrap my mind around how some people don’t read books after they get out of school .
I bought your sequel not too long ago, Henry, I’m looking forward to diving into that world as well!
Thank you, Chris. I’m going to check out the books you mentioned. They seem like pretty good reads.