Chapter 24 ~ Making Friends of Books

by Shelley Noonan

C.S. Lewis once said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” Yes, Mr. Lewis, you are sooo right! I am a reader; I come from a long line of readers, and my husband and I begat readers. In my home of origin,  family history was passed down in the oral tradition every Saturday morning while cleaning our home. One of the many stories my mother told was that of my Great Grandmother Smith.  Family lore told of her being a ravenous reader who spent so much time on her beloved pastime that she didn’t get her housework done. *GASP*  Family legend also tells that she died with an open Bible on her lap. (In my mind that sounds like a pretty good way to go!) My Great Granny’s reading addiction is not really the moral I want to focus on from this family tale, but rather the importance of choosing what kinds of books our daughters are making friends with. Why? Because one way or another, the books we read mold us and are our companions to the end of our days.

In Chapter 24 of Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood the author explores the similarities of choosing godly friends and choosing godly reading material. This chapter also explores the challenges young woman face in selecting good books. But this chapter not only applies to our daughters! May I be frank? This chapter challenges  me. Why? Because there are so many, many good books out there but not all of them are good for me.

I know many of you struggle like I have. Early in our marriage, I noticed a surge of discontentment that could be traced back  to my reading  romance novels. No matter what he did, my sweet  husband could not measure up to the perfect hero’s of these novels.  So for me, since that momentous realization, I have placed a ban on romance novels and, I am happy to tell you,  my contentment level has sky rocketed! Actions speak louder than words ladies, so I must ask, what kind of books are on your bedside table? Would you want your daughter to read them? How about your sons or even your husband?

Striving to focus on that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy,

Activity: This week’s topic is on reading good books and allowing them to influence our lives and the way we think just as a close friend would.

  • Begin searching out trusted book lists for you and your daughter to read. (See suggestion in resource section)
  • Read  John Piper’s interview on “How to Decide What To Read”
  • Meditate on Philippians 4:8 and apply it to your own reading preferences filter.

Bible Verse: Philippians 4:8

8 Finally, brothers (and sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Ponder and Post:

  • Aw, come on, spill! What is on your bedside table right now? Share with the rest of us! On my table right now is “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo.
  • I know many of you are bibliophiles so, tell  me, how do you choose your reading material?



Purchase here!

Jan Bloom is a long time friend and perhaps the most knowledgeable person I know on the topic of reading. She has written two books entitled Who Should We Then Read Vol. 1 and Who Should We Then Read Vol. 2.  They are described as   “A busy reader’s concise guide to the best authors of living books.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sarah March 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I can`t even count all of the books that I have already read this year! I started listening to Narnia on audio, the Nancy Drew seires, I want to read Heaven Is For Real, but I haven`t yet. I`m also reading a Charles Swindoll book, David, a man after God`s own heart, and several others too. I also write, right now I am working on a story about Queen Esther, I`m doing it as though she is telling the story so that people can get a better insight on her life.
God bless,
Sarah 😉


Sarah Bailey March 12, 2012 at 8:37 am

I write reviews on my blogs and I’ve noticed that what you’ve said above, romance does tend to lead to discontentment, not just in the hubby area but also in the child area – some of the children in novels are the most wonderful, never misbehave children and I’m slowly working my way away from them – I do enjoy them especially Amish ones – but is it anymore wrong of me to read these than people who allow such things as Twilight and The Hunger Games into their homes? No, if they lead to discontentment then that is sin and needs to be rid of. I’ve got The Whole Hearted Child by Sarah Clarkson which I really, really like. I’ll be checking out the one in the above blog post as well.


Shelley March 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hey Sarah,
Thanks for commenting and raising some very good points about discontentment leading to sin in desiring something we don’t have either in the children department or husband department. Reading books that stoke this fire isn’t really beneficial is it? Thanks for letting me know what is on your bedside table! Right now I have Francine Rivers book Redeemed. Mrs. Rivers is one of my favorite authors.


Jan March 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

I’m not sure I can list everything that’s on my bedside table! My Bible, Preparation for Adolescence (Ezzo), The Invisible War (Ingram), Manager’s of Their Chores (Maxwells), and Kipling’s Just So Stories (pre-reading for girls’ school since I’ve never read it). Obviously, I can’t read all of these everyday, but read snippets as time allows and as need dictates.
We greatly enjoy reading, and my husband and I would read more often if there was more time. I have been convicted about reading material in years past as some of the mystery type books I read were not good for me. I am thankful for the Lord’s leading in this area and pray that he will direct my children in this as well. This morning we had fun talking about books and looking at the questions to determine whether our reading material is appropriate (would I read it to my mother?, etc.). It was nice to see that someone agrees with Daddy that a steady diet of Hank the Cowdog can dull your mind! We also went to the computer to check out the 1000 Good Books list and flipped through Honey For A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt to get ideas for more good reading material. We use Sonlight Curriculum for our homeschool and because of that have many opportunities to read and discuss great books that teach about God and godly character.


Shelley Noonan March 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thanks for the great post Jan! I agree, Sonlight has such a wholesome list of books to read and Honey for a Child’s Heart has always been one of my standbys.
Happy reading!


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