Reading began as a childhood passion for me and is a joyful part of my daily routine, including Sundays.
Through reading I’ve been taught and mentored by people of the past and present. These authors have become my friends even though I’ve not met them. They left their experiences, wisdom and counsel for us. I’ve been fortunate to visit with some of them and others to exchange correspondence with them.
Today I was asked what I’ve been reading lately. A friend came by for a visit this evening and almost immediately he inquired about what I’ve been reading. I thought that I’d offer a few of my habits for reading.
First thing after my morning prayers and Bible reading, I read for my upcoming speaking schedule. That can be theology, a commentary, or a book on a topic I will be speaking about in the future. (I work off a calendar that I plan a year in advance that I work on during my summer study break.) This plan disciplines my reading. In the future I’ll blog about how I plan my study break and why it’s vital to the rest of my year.
As a guide for my reading I’ve used the following plan (1) Biblical Studies (2) Theology (3) Biography/History (4) Current Events/Culture (5) Pastoral Theology/Leadership (6) Literature.
I scan four newspapers each day. Unless there is an article that I think needs more attention, I spend about fifteen minutes with each. Every week I read World, Time and US News.
Monthly I read a variety of Magazines and Journals that are relevant to my work and interests. Some of them are Leadership Journal, Christianity Today, Outreach, Enrichment, Image, Preaching, Christian History and Biography, Money, National Geographic, First Things and Relevant.
When I’m reading a new book, I read it fast without stopping to highlight or make notes. If the book is good, I read it again. A large book, like Bruce Waltke’s Old Testament Theology, I’ll do a section and then go back read it again, with highlighter and pen. Then I read again, making notes. I’ll stop on this third read and mentally rehearse what I’ve read section by section.
On my day off, I always plan to read something differently. It keeps me fresh. I don’t take notes. Last weekend I started a Daniel Silva novel about an Israeli spy. Intrigue and action. For me that’s a great way to relax.
I use a Kindle for reading many books now. That’s another blog.