The other day Bryce asked me: "Why do you want to read Plato's Republic?" Or he said something along those lines, probably when I was moaning about how long the chapters are and how much it hurt my brain to work through the philosophical arguments. It made me think: why do I want to read it? Why am I putting myself through such a (sometimes) tedious goal? (Remember: I joined this online classical book club last September.)
So, after I pondered it for awhile, here are three reasons for making myself do it:
1. I want to "culture" myself. Even though I like to think of myself as a "reader," I've never done very well reading the classics. Preferring instead the easy reads. No philosophy or poetry for me (in the past). Don't get me wrong: I have read some classics but I want to read more. I guess I want to expand my reading preferences.
2. I want to make myself think. I don't want to always take the "easy road" when it comes to reading. Some reading I do is simply fun (i.e. The Hobbit or Real Simple magazine) but I also want to challenge my mind. I want to do something hard. And so I'm reading philosophy (which makes me go "ugh" sometimes, but it's good for me). Challenging and stretching my brain.
3. I want to find God in sometimes godless literature. I love it when God shows up in whatever I am reading. Sometimes the most nonspiritual read can have great spiritual impact for me. It's like a treasure-search, a game . . . finding Jesus where the author least expects Him to be found.
And so that's why I'm reading Plato's Republic and Virgil's The Aeneid (which I have no idea how to even pronounce).
Call me crazy (go ahead . . . sometimes I call myself Crazy).
But I'm loving it!