The one thing the Bible is not is what it is so often thought to be – a theological outline with proof texts attached.
Asked to define neighbor, Jesus told a story (Luke 10:25-27). Likewise, Jesus’ aphoristic command “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32) shows that he believed that truth can be embodied in concrete examples or images as well as in moral propositions.
-Leland Ryken, How to Read the Bible as Literature, p.9
Ryken’s book starts out well, but after a couple chapters I couldn’t continue. It’s all good information and his examples are clear, but the thing is just so darn boring I couldn’t stand it! 200 pages could have been condensed into a 20 page essay and nothing would be lost.
I think I’m going to skip it and move on to the (more highly recommended by folks I know) The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter.