The quote in the title is credited to Betty Smith and I find it delightful; smiles all around. Words lining pages of books open doors we never could have dreamed of…bring us connection in ways we long for…leave us heaving with sobs or laughing out loud…living in lands that don’t exist…partially created by the author but defined in our imaginations.
I love books. ALL.OF.THEM.
Should the time come for me to take a job outside my home I would want it to be amongst stacks of books somewhere. Just to be near them…smell the pages…feel the texture of the paper…take in the artwork on the covers. There is something about all of it that pulls at me.
I told you HERE how I enjoy reading, learning and acquiring information. But I’m learning that it’s just as important (maybe more important) to let some books, blogs or concepts get hold of me. I needn’t rush through the Bible just to read as much as I can or gloss over a book that is teaching me deep truths in order to add it to my pile of completed books. Marinating in words…THE WORD…absorbing truth until it becomes so much a part of me that it’s lived is more important than quickly dashing through as much as possible.
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
― Mortimer J. Adler
Reading is imperative to growth and development in all areas of life so I endeavor to keep it as a regular part of my routine. Lucky for me I enjoy it immensely! (Oh, if only I enjoyed veggies as much as books.) Last year I tried some new ideas with my reading and they worked so well, I’d like to pass them on to you. And guess how I got all of these nifty ideas??? Reading, of course!
Here are 4 ways I’m approaching reading this year:
#1 - Fiction (or lighthearted non-fiction) will be a part of my regular reading schedule. I got away from reading purely for pleasure last year. The idea that if I was taking the time to read then I had better be productive and constructive took hold in my mind and to be honest it wasn’t very fun. In 2015, I will indulge in some books for the simple enjoyment of the story or how the words string together.
SOME of my FAVORITE FICTION books:
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
#2 - If I start a book and don’t like it, then I won’t finish it. Last year I read a blog post that suggested this very idea. It was as if, somehow, I needed permission to give up on a book..and I got it. Friends, it feels so good to walk away from a book that’s just not doing it for you. Therefore, I will pass on the kindness that was shown to me: You have my permission to quit reading a book that you don’t like. Doesn’t that feel good?
#3 – Read multiple books at once. It’s hard for me to even tell you to do this because I NEVER would have read more than one book at a time in the past. After trying it out last year however, I can attest to the fact that this is indeed a good idea. Here’s the thought: If you are in a lighthearted mood but are only reading one book and it’s heavy and needs thought and time to process then you won’t pick it up. Instead of reading when you want to, you will wait until you are in the mood to deal with the heavy book and therefore read less overall. To that end I now try to keep at least one “fun” book going as well as a heavy/learning book (or two) so no matter what my mood is, a book will fit the occasion.
Books I’m CURRENLY working on:
- “Fun” read: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- “Heavy” read: Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray. This is R.O.C.K.I.N.G. my world. We will chat more about this later.
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
#4 – Challenge yourself and/or have a plan. Last year I read about Jon Acuff’s Empty Bookshelf Challenge and took it. I started with an empty shelf and here’s now it looks now. I didn’t finish all the books that are there (see #2) but I know I read more than I would have if left to my own whims.
Here are a couple of options:
I hope you find this helpful. Would you be willing to share any tips of your own or books you plan on reading this year?