The Joy of Reading

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It’s a new year and it’s time to start thinking of all those challenges you try to accomplish within the next year. I try to set a goal on how many books that I would like get through in a year. I didn’t come close to my goal for 2016 but I will still shoot for a similar goal just for 2017. I view a reading plan as a way I can have direction and encouragement without feeling obliged to stick to it knowing that there are some things that can happen in the year that may hinder reading.  One area that I am always wanting to grow in is not only the quantity of books but the quality of books.

As I challenge myself with how many books I read in a year, I must remind myself there is a joy that comes from reading. There is a type of joy that comes from reading though there are times that there are also challenges.

As a child I would love to sit and read but as a teenager I barely read anything. I don’t think I was prepared for the amount of reading that would take place in college. I struggled at first because I lacked the discipline required for the amount of reading that needed to be done. I am so thankful for that season in my life where I was forced to get back into a habit of reading. The joy that I can get from reading is because of discipline, to be learning, and to grow.

Discipline

One area that I find myself lacking discipline lately is sitting down and reading without getting distracted. Distractions are very common in my life such as busyness to just periodically picking up my phone every few minutes to see what has changed in all my social media spheres.

We live in a day in age where fighting against distractions must be at the forefront of our lives. One way I see being disciplined to sit still and focus is by reading. It is a good discipline for one to have. I am encouraged to know that I can be disciplined to sit and read which shows me that I can grow in other areas of discipline.

Learning

I love learning and there is a joy to come learning something new. God has given us a great mind to grow in wisdom and understanding. Through reading our minds are expanded upon the great gift of the written word. We can read about those who have gone before us through the ages of church history. We can read about ways we can grow and be encouraged. There is joy to know we can learn more and more about God and His creation.

Growth

I look forward to growing in understanding of the types of books that I read. I usually try to challenge myself with different genres of books. Each person has certain genres that they are drawn too, I love reading biographies but I want to grow in reading heavier theological books. I have joy knowing that I can be challenged in reading different genres so I can grow and learn.

A reading challenge

One of the ways that helps with being disciplined to read is by finding a good reading challenge for 2017. I have enjoyed Tim Challies and his yearly reading challenge. There are four different options depending where you are at with for the different types of reader, the light reader, the avid reader, the committed reader, and the obsessed reader. In his reading challenge he gives several different types of genres to expand your palette of books you consume.

You may just want to do something simple and set a number and keep track of it through a website called Goodreads.

Talk with your friends or spouse to keep you accountable and ask you about the books that you are reading.

Set a Daily Goal

Tony Reinke in his book Lit!  recommends setting aside time each day to read. When you set aside even thirty minutes each day you will find yourself reading through several books.

For 2017 I am challenging myself not only to read at least 4o books but to read for 30 minutes a day. I am hoping to be better disciplined in my attentiveness and book comprehension too.

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