April 27, 2011

Becoming a Reader, as an Adult

When I was young, I read.

And read.

And read.

What a delight it was to complete the Anne of Green Gables series as a twelve year old!

Shortly after that, school got more intense and required large chunks of study and reading time. Reading for pleasure fell by the wayside as athletics, homework, and friends took over.

In college I read a little more, but my studies demanded so much reading, I was rarely interested in MORE reading in my free time.  But post-college I was able to rediscover the fun in reading!  Reading opens doors into new worlds and ideas to which we don't have access without literacy.  On our honeymoon (which was not long after graduation) I started Tolstoy's Anna Karenina; nothing like starting small, eh?  I've been reading ever since.  I even completed some books by reading while nursing Elizabeth in the dark hours of the night.

This morning as I chatted with some friends, I thought perhaps it would be helpful to share on the blog how it is I keep reading.  Life is not less busy with a husband and children.  How can we continue to read when life already seems so full?

Several years ago, I made a new year's resolution to read a chapter of a book every day.  If you're reading books with thirty chapters (give or take), that's twelve books a year.  That's quite a few books.  I have not kept up with this intentionally, but by the end of that year, the reading habit was ingrained!

This afternoon I began a book that is 252 pages.  The chapters are really long, so I can't do a chapter a day.  But if I commit to 10 pages a day, I'll wrap that book up before May is out.

See how easy it is to start a regular reading habit?

The other thing you have to do to develop your reading addiction habit, is decide that it's worth it to take that time to read, rather than something else.  You can easily read a chapter of a book in the time it takes to watch a sitcom in the evening.  Or you'd be amazed at how recharged you feel after reading a bit with a tasty beverage - I take mine caffeinated - in the middle of the afternoon; make the kids rest and you sit for a spell too!  You'll all be better for it.  The mornings might work better for you, so perhaps getting up 15 minutes ahead of schedule will allow you the indulgence of a good book.

In summary, to read more you need to do two things:
  1. Decide how much you'd like to be reading
  2. Choose a regular time for reading

I'm a non-fiction junkie, particularly Christian living or Bible teaching books.  You can see some of my recommendations in the Deepen Your Roots tab at the top or click on book/review tabs over in the column on the right.

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