Continuing this quick list of ten thoughts on reading . . . since many of us know we should read more and we want to read more:
6. Read selectively. Too many people are in a stalemate with book buying. They won’t buy a wonderful book recommended by people they trust for them at this exact moment in life . . . why? Because they have some half-finished books. Don’t despise the meal cooked for you now because there are leftovers in the fridge that you aren’t enjoying. It makes no sense to be held captive by false guilt over not finishing a book (if it wasn’t good enough to keep you engaged, let it go to your shelf!)
7. Buy chapters. Just to reinforce number 6, think of buying chapters rather than whole books. If you found chapters 2 and 3 were stunning, but you’ve gotten bogged down in chapters 4 and 5, don’t stress about finishing chapters 6-10. You bought 2 and 3. That’s great, they were worth it. Now move on, don’t stop reading! An unfinished book is no shame.
8. Discriminate between recommendations. When certain people tell me a book is good, I will almost certainly buy it. When other people tell me a book is good, I will smile politely and thank them, but tend not to click “buy.”
9. Read with variety. So you’ve read everything from that one author, that’s fine. But have you read anything weightier, or technical, or historical, or from a different tradition, or something by someone not in your camp? Have you read a light paperback on your primary ministry area? What about a heavier textbook on it? How about something non-Christian? And fiction? Mix it up.
10. Give books away. Don’t just celebrate a great book, buy more copies and give them to people who you know will appreciate them. Let your growing love of good books be a ministry, rather than merely a personal development strategy.
One thought on “10 Thoughts on Reading – II”
Okay, Peter, you’ve just given me permission to buy more books because there are some I’ve been wanting but hesitated because of the many half-finished books on my bookshelves! 🙂 Thanks to all of you at Cor Deo, I’ve developed an interest in digging deeper into church history and theology. However, books on those topics are generally not leisurely reads. Then I end up feeling like I can’t start another book until I’ve wrestled through the whole of whatever I’m reading. Ah…I feel such freedom now! Thanks!