Since Katie Couric first asked the question a couple of years back, journalists continue to pepper Sarah Palin with that classic ice-breaker: “So, what are you reading?” The subject came up again in a recent profile in the New York Times Magazine, and last week Barbara Walters returned to the question in interviewing Mrs. Palin as one of her “10 most fascinating people of 2010.”

In both interviews Mrs. Palin cited C.S. Lewis as a favorite author she looks to for inspiration. This prompted talk-show host and comedienne Joy Behar of “The View” to deride Mrs. Palin and her choice of reading, asking: “Aren’t those children’s books?”

Lewis would likely have appreciated making Mrs. Palin’s reading list. But he probably would have appreciated the questions about it even more. For Lewis, one of the best ways to know a person was to know what they read. He was convinced that books defined us and shaped our character. He realized that books did more than prepare people for interesting conversations with journalists—they prepare us to respond to the crises we encounter in our own lives.

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