In a recent conversation about which books to include in the library (it started with a question about John Grisham), I had mentioned that we have what we call "Classics" and "Good Reads" in our library, and that we have an explanation of what this means posted for patrons to see.
Here is the text on that sign:
Classic reads at Berean (our church) is a small but growing collection of books that represent the timeless qualities and godly character which have value or worth as excellent literature.
These titles typically are not published by Christian publishing companies but rather reflect Christian values simply because of the culture and time in which they were printed. For our purposes Classics will be defined as:
*Titles written before 1960
*Representing Biblical standards either in the characters or principles presented
*The main characters exhibiting or learning godly principles, including growth and consequences for wrong choices
* Unabridged and in the form closest to the author's original presentation
*Typically only fiction genre is represented in classics.
Good Reads, like Berean's Classics, are not published by Christian companies but reflect the values and interests of both the present cultures and those of the past. Many of the Good Reads we promote are purchased simply to enhance the joy of reading. These books were selected for our library because they have good character development and a message that is fun, creative and entertaining, while maintaining good character development. In a world where it is hard to find quality reading in both the public and Christian sectors, it is a welcome privilege to share books that may be missed if one only comes to our library. We hope to help families learn of good authors an and out of Christian circles, and to help educate our families in quality literature.
Good Read books will be found in the same area as classics (we have since changed this) and while many are of interest to youth and children, we will also be adding titles for adult fiction lovers from time to time.
Please note it is not our desire to take away from the Christian message or to minimize the reading of Christian books, however as we continue our search for good literature, we are finding that many of the Christian books are not as well written as in the past. Our goal is a quality that brings God glory regardless of the publisher.