Monday, June 12, 2017

On Returning A Book

Yesterday I did something that I have not done in a very long time:  I returned a unread book.

It was not even in my book.  It was one that Nighean Dhonn had purchased two weeks ago.

We were at the look almost large chain used book store in our area, loading up for summer and she walks up with it.  "This is the author that writes the book series I read" she said. I glanced at the cover rather quickly and quickly read the summary flap.  It seemed innocuous enough.

Only later did I think to actually look the book up.  And was, frankly somewhat horrified.  Very different from the the books that the author has written.  The thing that pushed me over the edge was the comment by the author in the end that "And parents, do not worry about the swear words - your kids already know them."

I made this mistake once long ago with Nighean Gheal, when, foolishly only thinking it was about dogs, let her read Marley and Me.  It did involve dogs - and a lot of other things as well, things that required explanation.  Some things, once done, cannot be undone.

As I went back and forth about this book, I suddenly took a look at my own shelf and realized I was in the same position: I had some things there that while not "horrible", were certainly not the sorts of things that I probably needed to have on my shelf.  Not that they were not well written books - in some cases they were. But that had parts in them, bits that were not within realm of what I hold as my Christian beliefs.  As a wise man once told me, putting sewage in a cookie does not make the sewage anything other than what it is.

And so I went in and returned the book and got a gift card.  My reasoning (I was honest about that) was apparently acceptable.  I gave it to Nighean Dhonn, explained my reasoning, and gave her the card.  It seemed like an acceptable explanation to her as well.

I know, I know - I ultimately cannot keep the world out.  And I am realistic that the probably are exposed to far more than I care to imagine.  But it seems to me that just blandly turning a blind eye is not acceptable in my responsibility as a parent - nor, it turns out, even blandly turning a blind eye on myself.


Rev. Paul said...

Well done, Dad.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Reverend. Even I, apparently, can manage to get it right once in a while.

Glen Filthie said...

I used to be a voracious reader too. Nowadays - I haven't bought a book in years. I wonder if it's the same stuff we find objectionable.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I bet it is Glen. Even now, most of the "New" books I read are really used books or books specifically selected for particular areas like agriculture or self improvement. On the whole I avoid most modern fiction (with a few exceptions) as they are laden with far too much sex, swearing, and just generally bad behavior for my taste.