In part 1, I waded into the how, this time I’ll share the what of my reading habits.
First of all, I always try to have one big book underway–maybe just a few pages at a time. These sort of books usually require me to read and re-read sections to really let it soak in. These titles sit on my bedside table (or on my Kindle devices) and they’re often the ones that I doze off reading. At the moment, it’s Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I’m a history buff, so for me, these reads tend to be histories, biographies and stories I’d like to get lost in.
Next I have a couple of books that are my recreational reading. I usually have a novel going, maybe a book on a topic I want to learn more about, or something that’s been recommended to me. I like to have a copy of these books handy, for those occasions when I have a moment to fill. If I can put them on my Kindle, my laptop and even my phone–awesome! Whenever and wherever, I’ve got something to read. Presently I’ve got some James Joyce, a new book by my literary coach Ariel Gore, and some Garrison Keillor floating about. I’m enjoying them all. I’ve got some Kurt Vonegut and Stephen King waiting on deck. Much of this reading for me is about the art. I laugh. I cry. I shake my head in disbelief. It’s about being entertained or taught or challenged, or all the above.
I do read the Bible every day. Over the years I’ve adopted a devotional method of reading–short sections or passages each morning, to read, and then reflect through my day. Sometimes it’s a couple of chapters, other times it may be just a couple of verses. It’s all about how the passage hits me as I prayerfully read. My daily goal isn’t a set amount, but rather a chance to speak with (and hear from) the Author over his book. I can tell you, this is the most rewarding part of my reading habit–I highly recommend you work this into your routine.
More often than not, I like to read a little devotional along with my Bible reading time. At the moment it’s a book published in 1834 called Sturms’ Reflections on the Works of God, by Christopher Christian Sturms, an 18th century German preacher. My sister Diann ran across the book and sent it to me. What a gem! I’ve since learned that a well worn and noted copy of this book was among Ludwig van Beethoven’s personal items when he died.
My advice–read often and read widely! Don’t be buttonholed into reading only those things that you know you agree with, but stretch yourself. If you’re a Christian, don’t be afraid of (I hate this word!) secular books. Read something that would shock your friends! Read for thought provocation. And enjoy!
What are you reading? What do you enjoy? Fiction? Non? Any particular genre? Does anyone read poetry?