Last week, I asked if you read Christian fiction. This post broke one of the so-called major rules of blogging: it asked a yes/no question. Apparently, blog posts are supposed to ask open-ended questions.
I’m now wondering about that rule, because when I shared the question and the post link on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I got more responses than usual. That’s probably because it was an easy question … yes, or no (although some people said both, and some expanded on their answers).
So what did people say?
Most of my Facebook followers are Christians, and I know most are interested in and read Christian fiction.
One of my Facebook pages is called Iola’s Christian Reads, so that’s pretty much asking for followers to be Christian fiction readers. My other Facebook page is my author page, and my tagline is ‘Contemporary Christian Romance with a Kiwi twist’. That’s not something that’s going to appeal to general market fantasy readers.
Instagram is similar.
Most of my followers are people I follow, and most of the people I follow are Christian fiction writers, reviewers, or readers. So it’s no surprise that my Facebook and Instagram followers report that they do read Christian fiction.
Twitter was a little different.
My Twitter followers tend to be writers, and (while I haven’t asked) I expect that’s a mix of Christians and non-Christians. Generally, the people who answered my question on Twitter didn’t read Christian fiction, even though many of them said they were Christians.
The next obvious question is, why?
Why do you read Christian fiction?
While I mostly read and review Christian fiction, I also read some general market fiction. These tend to be bestsellers or novels that have been recommended to me as excellent.
But, given the choice, I’d rather read Christian fiction. Why? Several reasons …
General market fiction often has too much swearing, violence, or sex for my taste. Or all three. I read for entertainment, and I don’t find it entertaining to read about a character being raped or beaten up. It can linger in my brain for months or years (oddly enough, I’m a lot less sensitive when it comes to TV or movies—perhaps because they move on so fast that I’m not left to linger on the violence).
I like reading fiction that reflects my faith. I’m sure many non-Christians don’t read Christian fiction for the same reason—they also want to read fiction which reflects their values and beliefs.
I don’t like reading fiction where the characters spend their time angsting (that’s a word, right?) about #FirstWorldProblems that would be solved if they met Jesus.
I like reading fiction where something about God or about how we relate to God is woven into the story (I don’t like preachy fiction, where the author hits me over the head with his or her answers).
If you’re a Christian and you don’t read Christian fiction, why not?
This isn’t meant to be a challenge. It’s an honest enquiry. There are no wrong answers.
Is there an actual reason why you don’t read Christian fiction? Is it that you’re like my husband, who reads an average of one novel a year? Perhaps because you’re a diehard science fiction fan and there doesn’t seem to be any Christian sci-fi? Is it that you read some bestselling Christian novels years ago and didn’t enjoy them?
Or is it just that you don’t know it exists?
So why do you read (or why don’t you read) fiction?