I have an addiction to ink. I take it in until it overflows and pours out of me. Maybe you’ve noticed.
The beasts line my shelves, breathing at me, tempting me with their covers and their words strung together with such artistry. The beckon with their pages and urge me to take them in.
And for this last year… I have. Oh, have I!
Starting May 24th, 2017, and continuing every week since then, I’ve been able to read at least one book a week with the eye of improving my ministry, either through digging deeper into God’s Word or improving an ability or becoming more knowledgeable in some related subject. Apparently it started with Chivalry and has continued and will continue weekly at least until August, since I’ve already written enough reviews to last until then.
It has been a trip. I’ve read some real dreck. I’ve also read some books that are amazing. Then again, I’ve read some real frustrating volumes. Some have been quick reads; others took me much, much longer.
And I’ve enjoyed it. By forcing myself to post reviews here, I’ve kept up my reading. I’ve learned. The percentage of books I own that I’ve actually read has grown! Basically, by being public with what I read, I’ve forced myself to keep going and think a little more critically about what I’m reading. What am I getting out of this? What would someone else get out of this?
Another benefit of this last year has been an increase in my reading speed. Some things still take me longer; I’m currently reading a Michael Horton book that I can’t breeze through so much. However, other books I can finish within a day pretty easily. I did it with The Ragamuffin Gospel and each of the God’s People series has taken me about a half hour. I appreciate being able to wrap things up so quickly!
Reading so much has also let me read much more widely than I might otherwise. I was able to read a book on the craft of preaching (review forthcoming!). I tackled the Lutheran Confessions. I read about the Jewish Trinity and technology and justification and so much more! I tried to take in a myriad of subjects from myriad sources, and I think I did pretty well there.
But… all things must come to an end.
I’m still going to be reading this next year, of course. No addiction can let me off that easily! But instead of trying to keep up a weekly posting schedule for reviews, I want to tackle some deeper books that will simply take me longer to read. Maybe because I’m so far ahead, it’ll still end up being a weekly review. Maybe not. But I’m not going to force myself to read that quickly, at least for the next year. After that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll try reading 52 books in 52 weeks again!
In the meantime: What do you do to continue growing in your abilities? Do you try to keep to a schedule, or do you have a goal? If you read, do you try to mix it up with different topics, or do you keep to one sub-genre?
With whatever you read, I hope you’re blessed by it!