Reading. What a wonderful gift God has given us in books and most of all, in THE Book. I love to read. I love to read books on theology, productivity, history, biographies, and on and on. This love for books has lead to me reading and collecting a great amount of books to this point in my life. Because of this, I often have people in my church or outside of my church contact me and ask me some pointers on how to read more, what books to read, etc. So I thought I would collect some thoughts on reading as a whole here in this post for those who want some wisdom on reading.
Buying a Book is Easy, Reading It Isn't.
Chances are that if you are reading this you know exactly what I mean. It is a lot easier to buy a book from Amazon or your favorite book distributor than to actually read it. So here is my encouragement: only buy books you are going to read within a month of the purchase. The reason I keep this principle is because it is easy to grow discouraged in having a big stack of books 'to read' that never get read and only keep increasing in number. Don't discourage yourself. Instead, buy a book that you are committed to finishing within a month. I find this practice invigorating. I finish books faster because I want to move on to other books on my 'wish list!'
It is easy to grow discouraged in having a big stack of books 'to read' that never get read and only keep increasing in number.
Reading is a Discipline.
Just like exercise, working out, or writing, reading takes discipline. You must make time to do it. I fear that many set out to read with a great desire, but never really read much because they lack discipline. Facebook, Twitter, and television distract the well-meaning 'wanttobe' reader and they never end up reading much. I find that I am far too easily distracted, so I shut off my screens when I read. I turn off my phone, computer, and whatever else could grab my attention. This helps me to stay focused and think better as I read.
Reading Must Be Planned.
Reading doesn't just happen. It must be planned. Take your schedule and find a block of time (even if it's only 15 minutes!) to read. I usually read around lunch time, middle of the afternoon, and for an extended period of time before bedtime. Find what works for you and plan it!
I fear much reading doesn't happen because it is never planned to happen.
Buy Authors, Not Titles.
I always recommend people to buy books by an author they like, not according to titles. Some of the best books I have read were about subjects I wasn't very interested in at the time, but I read the book because it was by an author I had previously enjoyed.
These are my spontaneous thoughts on reading. I hope they have been helpful and have at least served to spur you on to more and better reading!
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Lead Pastor Resident at College Park Church in Indianapolis, 'Tweeter' at @brad_merchant, and avid reader of books.