I just wrote a blog post after reading AnnCoulter's column about "Republicans who Don't Read." I think many of our problems in society are exacerbated because almost nobody reads serious literature, history or philosophy anymore.
Does your church library include serious books like Wayne Grudem's Politics, books about church history, and biographies of great Christians like Bonhoeffer?
I haven't read Ms. Coulter's column yet but plan to after jotting down a few thoughts here. One, the mind intensity level of many people's employment has gone up dramatically in the past century. By the time many of us get home from work we may already have done a lot of reading and thinking on the job, and our choice of personal time activities may need to be less mentally challenging and give our eyes a break from reading. Or perhaps use reading as a form of buffer from work topics and home activities - adventure/thriller/mystery, romance, etc. Those who commute by bus or train probably have more time to read and perhaps do more serious reading, although I know a lot of folks who use audio books while driving.
I would tend to think that once people retire, their serious reading increases at least a little - they have more time to read, digest and ponder, and more life experience and spiritual insight to appreciate what they are reading, and possibly the opportunity to share or discuss those thoughts with others in a more leisurely way.
Since I read the morning newspaper including editorials and get a lot of religion-related updates online, I already have a lot to "digest"mentally. I’m personally guilty of not doing enough serious reading in the evening hours, but my husband does a lot of serious reading. About ten years ago he put himself on a reading plan and began to read his way through the collection he’d amassed. He read a book with spiritual content, then another sort of informational book, then a fiction book. In this way he has read many books (including a historical fiction series with about 27 volumes!) and has a balance of various genres. Now he has a Kindle and has a very varied selection which is wonderful on trips – lots of books for the travel weight and space of just one!
From my experience as our church librarian, I find that men are generally much deeper readers than women. It’s usually men who check out our tome or DVD on Bonheoffer, etc. but we do have one gal on our library team of 8 that reads “heavy” lit – she’s single and works in a law-enforcement-related office. She’s my go-to gal for “deep” reading reference. It’s good I’ve found, to have a variety of genre reference folks on your library team!
It is definitely good to have a varied team, especially when it comes to keeping a balanced collection. We have a history and creation enthusiast, several who keep up with contemporary fiction, and me--total nonfiction nerd who only reads fiction if it involves special ops (e.g. Joel Rosenberg.) Among us all, we manage to have something for everyone at church, I think.