The Discipline of Reading
Reading has fallen on hard times. Between the computer and the smartphone, people do not read as much as they once did. Or rather people don't read books or longer works as much as they once did. Despite the statistics, there are still people that make time for reading.
I've had a number of friends ask me over the years how I find time to read so many books. On any given year I read an average of 15-30 books, and I often share about books that I've read here and via social media. I love sharing book recommendations and talking about books with others, which is why I often get asked about how I find time to read and how I can read as much as I do.
To answer simply: reading is a discipline that I find valuable and enriching. Therefore, I prioritize time for it.
We make time for things that we think are important. Take exercise for example. We carve out time for it in our days and try to keep a regime and routine. We feel guilty when we don't keep up with it. We feel more energized and less stressed when we do keep up with it. Just like exercise takes discipline, reading takes discipline as well.
The way most people feel about exercise is how I feel about reading. (In fact, sometimes I do both at the same time. Hello treadmill!) Reading is something that I find to be valuable and important. Therefore, I make time for it.
Just like 15 minutes of exercise is better than no exercise, 15 minutes of reading is better than not reading at all, which is why I aim to read at least 15 minutes or roughly 1 chapter of a book a day. I find that reading a chapter a day motivates me to read and depending on the book length, I can read a book in a week or every two weeks.
Another thing that helps is reading multiple books at one time. I have a friend that reads one book that is a leisure read, one book that is spiritual growth related, and one that is job training related. I have since adopted this friend's method. Reading multiple books at one time creates variety and gives us different things to read at different points in the day. I am more apt to read a spiritual growth book in the morning and a leisure read at night time, because it is harder for me to concentrate later at night.
Reading is a discipline. If we want to read more and we find value in reading, then we need to make time for it. I could write an entire post about the value of reading (which I might do). It is a very helpful discipline for growth, mentally and spiritually, and it's a discipline that we should make a regular part of our schedules.
In the twenty minutes that we might spend on social media in the morning, we could spend that time reading a book which will actually be more encouraging and valuable than mindlessly scrolling through content. One way that you can make reading a discipline in your life is by replacing your time on social media in the morning with reading for ten minutes.
If you've been wanting to read more, the first step is deciding if reading is something that you view as valuable and important and then making the time for it, even if it's just 15 minutes a day to start. Ultimately, my hope is that you would find reading as something that is profitable and would make it a regular discipline.
If you want to make reading a regular discipline, but you're looking for good books to read, here are a few recommendations:
Circle Series 4-in-1 (The Circle Series)
To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson
The Magnolia Story
Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines
12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing)
Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
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