I didn’t read my first book until after I graduated high school.
As a child, I never read. I hated it. I thought that if you read books you were weird. I grew up in a rough area in St. Louis and education and books and any sort of intellectual activity was hardly encouraged. My parents can barely read and write, and they made it through life just fine, so why should I read?
Everything changed once I got to college.
I felt a tremendous amount of homesickness during my freshman year. During that time, I began to read my Bible obsessively, mostly out of desperation. I also started having an insatiable desire for learning. Why? My only explanation is that, while alone in my dorm room, God began to change my heart and show me the value of knowledge.
So, I became a reader. I now aim to read 3-4 books a month. And reading has become one of the sweetest aspects of my life.
Don’t like reading? I get it. I was there. But I want to encourage you to try. Just start anywhere, and ask God to bless you along the way. It is no exaggeration to say that reading good books can change the trajectory of your life.
35 Tips and Thoughts on The Reading of Books
The tips below are not exhaustive. But maybe they’ll help. Whether you’re a committed reader, or if you’ve never finished a book, here’s some random thoughts and tips on the reading of books:
- Don’t give up too quickly on reading. The more you read, the easier it becomes.
- Stop and pray every 10-15 minutes and ask God to give you wisdom and insight and humility.
- Paperback, Audio, or e-Books? Yes.
- Read good book reviews before purchasing a book, if you’re reluctant.
- If you think all books are boring, the problem is not with books.
- Don’t just read non-fiction. You need fiction for creativity and imagination.
- Don’t just read fiction. You need non-fiction for depth and truth.
- Also, read secular books.
- Don’t replace Bible reading with Christian books. At first you may feel a sense of “freedom,” but will soon be met with emptiness.
- Bible reading doesn’t have to be done first thing in the morning, but I know of no better way to start the day.
- If you start your day by reading, you’ll get momentum, and this will usually lead to more reading throughout the day.
- There’s multiple joys in books, not just reading: there’s also the joy of discovering the book, buying the book, receiving the book, and recommending the book!
- Pick a few worthwhile authors and read every book they’ve ever written. No one can get their entire train of thought in one work (unless your name is John Calvin).
- Bring a book with you everywhere you go, and read in between the open time slots of your day.
- Read when you don’t feel like it, read until you do feel like it.
- You don’t have to read the entire book to say you’ve read it.
- Don’t be discouraged if you don’t remember everything you’ve read. No one does (unless your name is Charles Spurgeon).
- Reading will provide blessings to your spiritual life that are often difficult to articulate.
- Is it possible to over-read? I don’t think so.
- Become a voracious reader or bookworm or whatever. Just don’t call yourself one if you only read 14 books a year.
- One book every two months is a doable goal for even the busiest Christian.
- If you don’t have time to read, it’s because reading is not a priority. Learn to see the value of reading.
- Read 2-3 (or more) books at a time to keep your mind from fatigue on one particular subject.
- Plan to read and your reading habits will soar.
- Highlight, underline, write – mark up your books. Books are meant for interaction.
- Most of the successful people who have ever lived have usually been avid readers.
- Develop a system for remembering what you read. But don’t exasperate yourself.
- Read How to Read a Book (to help you read better) and Tony Reinke’s, Lit! (for a guide on reading Christian books).
- It’s the spring time, yes, but you can still take the 2016 Reading Challenge.
- Why so many Christians book every year? Because for every good one, there’s 5-10 bad ones.
- J.I. Packer says, “Read two old books for every new one.” Think about that when you buy your next book.
- There’s no way to read everything, and not everything deserves to be read.
- You will almost never agree with everything you read in a book. And that’s okay.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Some of us will read 150+ books a year, and others will only read six. That’s fine. God has not wired us all the same.
- John Piper says, “Reading is more important than eating.” Well, umm, maybe not. But, yeah, it’s up there. So read a lot. And never stop learning.
You may also like:
- The Christian Reader’s Resource Guide
- 8 Quick Tips to Help You Read More Books
- 11 Books Every Christian in College Should Read