Enjoy Books and Ignore Authors (Mostly)

Don’t take advice from the wrong people. Everyone is telling a story. Everyone is kind of marketing all the time.
So, if we believe the big problem of the world is bee stings, then we’re going to be telling everyone how [whatever is in the news] is reason for extra vigilance about bee stings and how our solution is more crucial than ever.

The saying is wise: When you have a hammer, everything looks like nail.
And we all have hammers.

My hammer, or my calling in life, is about stories. So I naturally see how important they are and I see them everywhere.

But I don’t recommend looking to artists and authors to be your doctors, your political action mentors, your pastors, or even as substitutes for your actual friends—just look to them for their art. This is good advice all the time, I believe, but perhaps especially now.

It’s okay to just enjoy a movie without idolizing the movie star. It’s okay to read a story and not be discipled on politics or religion by the author. Celebrities and entertainers are often foolish, as are the most noisy and angry partisans in media. It’s wise not to invest wide trust in them. It is almost entirely unearned.

It’s so noisy. You have permission to disengage from the media maelstrom.

You have permission to get really local and concern yourself with your community and value it—like valuing your pastor’s wisdom over the pundit you’ve been catechized by for years.

Authors and other artists can be great, sure. But don’t look to them for what they aren’t meant to give. If you need to ignore me, please do.

Enjoy books and ignore authors. (Mostly.)

God draws straight lines with crooked sticks. But look to the line, and the drawer, not the sticks, for your truth and worship.

?: Graeme Pittman


  1. As you binge watch your favorite tv series or sit down to read your favorite book or sleep to your favorite music, remember. Remember that in the darkest days when everything stops, we turn to artists.

  2. Hmm. I love my authors of the stories I love best! Each one of them has been a doorway to learn more how to live for me when they’ve been seekers of Jesus. Lewis, John White, Tolkein, Amy Carmichael, Elisabeth Eliot, Corrie ten Boom, S.D. Smith…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *