I recently spent an evening cataloguing some of the books that we own as a family (you can see our progress here).
In doing so, I noticed that of the 300+ books we own, the percentage of books that we’ve read is sadly quite low.
For example, from our library, I’ve probably bought about 40 books in the past twelve months (usually when they’re on special on Amazon, or during a conference). Yet I’ve only read about 20-25% of them cover to cover in 2012.
Most books I started, but haven’t finished because I lacked the discipline to read them consistently (happens in other areas of my life too – starting something and not finishing it…).
Others I read and didn’t like that much so stopped – yet most of the time, it’s really been my lack of discipline that books have been left unfinished.
And then there are some books (it’s embarrassing to admit) where I’ve gone out of my way to buy them – only to let it just sit on the shelf as a trophy.
I mean, if I translated my reading habits to something else in my life (e.g. eating, or spending money), it would immediately be recognised as wastefulness, plain and simple.
In today’s marketing-centric society, I’m finding it hard to resist the temptation to buy the latest, greatest book from the estimated 300,000 books that are published each year, instead of finishing the ones I already have.
So I’m resolving by God’s grace to read more books this year. I hope to be able to say this time next year that I’ve read more of our library…
p.s. One of our pastors presented a helpful talk last year called “Learning to Read to the Glory of God“. I’m keen to apply those principles in my reading habits!
What are your tips for keeping a steady reading habit? What are your obstacles?