I read a ton of books. Probably too many. Here are a few ideas that I use that might help you to jump start your reading life.
Develop a Plan
I don’t read just anything but I have a specific plan of attack. Here is my outline which you can modify in any way you like:
- Daily Bible Reading: there are no substitutes for this. I am currently reading through the Bible in 1 year using the “Five Days a Week” program. That lets me catch up or get ahead 2 days per week.
- A Biography: I like to always have 1 biography in my ebook reader. Last month I read the biography of Whittaker Chambers. This month I am reading Andrew Klavan’s latest autobiography.
- A Novel: I always have on novel on the go. I really like naval fiction, and often read through entire series of these book. Novels are very good to work your creative imagination.
- A Professional Title: This one is easy for me since I am required to review a book each month for Leader’s Edge.
- A Longer Program Selection: Pick an area of interest and begin “picking off” books from it. For example, last year I tried to read the “100 Top Scifi Books” which were recommended on a website. I didn’t get through the whole list (there is a lot of garbage on there), but I did hit many of the highlights.
The hard part, of course, is finding time for all of this reading. I like to read in the “cracks” of my schedule. I also read in the evening for extended times and I am careful to use travel time to read.
I have converted to almost 100% digital reading because it is simply far more conducive to carrying around the books that I want to have on hand. I know that others demand physical books but I don’t think you can maintain the sort of reading intensity with them that digital titles allow. This is particularly true if you travel much, like I do.
Another piece of helpful advice I received years ago was to stop reading bad books. Just stop right away if you aren’t getting anything out of the book. Why spend time on garbage just because you feel obligated to finish? Obligated to whom?
Don’t read all books the same. I can easily zip through many titles at a high level because they don’t really say much! In fact, most business books can be processed in about an hour or so. Other books might take me a long time to read. I have to go back and re-read portions, think about them and meditate on what is being said.
Push yourself to read. It is a blessing that pays huge dividends in life and ministry.