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Watershed Online: What's New
Reading for Life
Spring 2002 - Women ReadingIntroduction: The problem with Christianity...

Is it no wonder that so often the movie version is no match for our imaginative reading of the book? That’s a reflection of the mysterious exchange between reader and author, between ourselves and that which lies beneath. It's not about a monologue any more.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in essence said it would be horrible if reading books converted us to mere "bookworms." As difficult and nerve-wracking as creative thinking is, reading well is about becoming inspired, as Emerson said, to be "active souls."

Reading can be a valuable discipline that can attend to the formation of our character. Whether the source is a spiritual classic, a popular novel or a cartoon, reading can challenge our “cherished” yet limited beliefs that have not been reflected upon, and focus our otherwise cluttered minds and hearts. Reading can inspire us to value what’s truly valuable, to act when we would otherwise be merely idle. As our editor Arthur Paul Patterson has commented, “Literature offers us a form of mentorship and guidance; to read literature well is to interpret our lives.” Indeed, whether we’re on the beach or not, where would we be without reading?

Join Watershed Online’s Spring 2002 edition as we reflect on various aspects of “reading for life.” In return, offer your own responses and experiences of reading on our messageboards. We’d be glad to hear from you!


• A wonderful proposal from Arthur Paul Patterson for a book entitled Beauty of the Beast offers us a window into human development through meditating on horror literature.
• University of Waterloo professor Joseph Gold offers some thoughts on how reading can restore us to ourselves in his excerpt, On Bibliotherapy.


• In Encountering the Horror and the Holy Arthur Paul Patterson examines the balance between the constrictive and expansive effects of horror.
• Linda Tiessen Wiebe in Chew It Slowly tells how reading can develop an inner voice.
• Cal Wiebe explores reading’s impact on the imagination in a review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings.


• Bev Patterson untangles the mystery behind the Winnipeg mystery bookstore, Whodunit.
• Glenn Morison shares insights into spirituality revealed in the movie Smoke Signals (1998).
• In Speaking From the Heart, Lorna Derksen reviews Frederick Buechner’s invitation to vulnerability.
• Joel Penner reviews Tolkien’s classic The Hobbit.
• Erik Berg explores a fantasy tale in Staying True: A Review of Forgotten Realms: Homeland.
• A few local Watershed members have written about their personal relationships with reading. Lydia Penner shares her thoughts in Book Reflections, Cal Wiebe shares about his encounter with books in For the Love of Reading, and Lyle Penner offers his musings on Relating to Reading.
• Reading connects us with ourselves and other people. Check out these Reading Resources to help you read better.



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