Why I Stopped Reading Epic-Fiction

IMG_0073As a child I loved to read books. What began with The Great Cookie Thief (a classic children’s book), and Paddington bear (my first real chapter book) continued as I devoured the Hardy Boy Mysteries [1], and Chronicles of Narnia.

Today that love for reading manifests itself with the number of book I’m reading that could be referred to as “Epic-Fiction [2].” Think things like the Lord of the Rings, or The Hobbit with plenty of adventure and complicated storylines.

While I will probably never stop reading epic-fiction, my heart was challenged the other day by just how many books on my kindle fit into that category

Actually it wasn’t so much the huge amount of fiction in the list that bothered me, but the small amount of books that dealt with political or social issues that people face on a daily basis.

The truth is most of us read to escape the stress or drama of life. After a long day it’s incredibly fun to imagine myself riding into battle with Aaragorn and Legolas, or hleping Sam and Mr. Frodo enter Mordor [4].

There is definitely a place for books like this in our library, but books cannot just be used to escape reality…they must be used to challenge our thinking.

The sad fact is we live in a broken world that constantly tries to find hope or fulfillment outside of God. Even worse than this they don’t realize man cannot fix these problems since He is broken [5] as well.

It’s the responsibility of Believers to develop and share a worldview that takes this brockeness into account. And of course that involves saturating our minds with Scripture, as well as books written from a Christian perspective.

Books that Have Challenged My Thinking:

  1. Conviction to Lead: By Albert Mohler
  2. Men People are Big and God is Small: Ed Welch
  3. Is God Anti-Gay? Sam Alberry
  4. Soul Virgins: Doug Resenau
  5. Mere Christianity: CS Lewis
  6. Manhood Restored: Eric Mason

I thought about this responsibility while reading Ben Carsons latest book One Nation that had a very different affect on me than the epic-fiction books.

  1. It convicted me over my lack of knowledge
  2. It challenged me to further my education
  3. It clarified the dangers our Country faces
  4. It destroyed some of my excuses for not doing more

In other words it changed my way of thinking.

If we as Christians are going to display a Biblical worldview the habit of reading books that change our lives must be revived [6].

For me that means saying goodbye to my beloved fictional characters and wrestling with the challenges of a broken world.

Oh don’t get me wrong I will still join them every once in a while in defending Helms Deep or rescuing a fair maiden. But it’s important to fight the battles of reality first.


  1. I’m referring to the original blue hardback versions, the newer ones weren’t nearly as good  ↩
  2. don’t bother looking for an epic fiction category in your library, I made it up  ↩
  3. some of my favorites are The Way of Kings, The Wheel of Time, and the Eragon Series  ↩
  4. if you don’t know understand this you seriously need to read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy  ↩
  5. weak and in need of help  ↩
  6. of course Scripture does this, but here I refer to books that apply truths of Scripture to the challenges faced in everyday life  ↩

One thought on “Why I Stopped Reading Epic-Fiction

  1. I would start with “The Inklings” a biography of Lewis and Tolkien and their friends. It will illuminate knowledge about humanity, history, and the like. It’s not epic fiction, but it’s good reading for any saint.

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