I often am asked questions regarding reading, whether it be types of books, formats and mediums of reading and various other type questions. After a few recent conversations about reading, I thought I would give a quick list of thoughts I have on reading and maybe one day soon give some deeper thoughts on the subject. For now, let this suffice:
1. I prefer to read books much more than blogs.
Some blogs and websites are much more helpful than many books out there, but the medium of blogging I don’t find very helpful. The content moves quicker, isn’t long lasting and doesn’t give precedence to what the website editor believes is most important to read like newspapers and magazines. Books allow time for slow thought. Is anyone arguing for the speed of reading and intake to pick up? By no means do I shy away from internet reading, but I lean towards those that are what would previously be called essays, which leads to my next thought.
2. I prefer to read magazines, newspapers and printed journals of substance over blogs.
Much thought is given to what goes into print and forces editors to only allow the best quality to fill its limited space. Many print magazines are still thriving because the quality is much better and the same should be said for anything put online by those who care about quality of reading. I will never understand why a website would be willing to put content online that is low quality for the sake of attracting mass amounts of readers. If the quantity outweighs the quality, then eventually the masses will go somewhere else because if the internet is anything, it is quantity of reading.
3. I prefer to read printed books more than digital.
I have spent more money on kindle books than I would like to admit because I thought the transition would be seamless. I had an iPad, read a few books on it and thought that I was ready for digital books. That lasted less than six months. Being aware of my own quirks regarding digital technology doesn’t hinder me from saying this, but after reading twenty or so books on my iPad I became quickly irritated at the bland repetition of the same exact page for every book, over and over. I need an actual book with real pages and print. All books aren’t created or written equal and should be read differently. An iPad or a Kindle doesn’t inherently believe the same. I still read books and essays on my iPad but the genre of reading is very different.
4. I tend to read a lot of books by the same author.
When I find an author I enjoy, I want to read most anything they have written. I like to understand an author’s thinking because some people have ideas and beliefs that I find compelling and helpful so I want to understand what makes them tick. I also tend to do this historical times and peoples.
5. I like to read multiple books at the same time.
It’s hard for me to read one book at a time because the pressure to decide what to read next is too much. I do have a couple of parameters on those three or seven books. I almost always am reading classics, whether it be a classic author or classic book, a work of fiction and most of the time a favorite author. As church needs and interests arise, I may have to set aside my favorite author and focus in on something different for a while.
6. I prefer history books much more than Christian living books.
While this sounds strange, I learn more about the Christian life from reading historical accounts than I ever have from Christian living books. I’m not picking on Christian bookstores by saying this because there are many authors I enjoy that write on subjects that I don’t necessarily want to read. Give me a biography of an older pastor any day than a book on pastoral principles.
7. I rely heavily on books of prayer for my Christian living reading.
Worship and prayer in their public and private forms are the two areas of the Christian life that I want to understand and give much of my time to than any other area. There is much more to say about this that I will take up at another time, but as a general summary, I want to grow here because much of my life is rooted and dependent upon worship and prayer, and by much of my life I mean everything that I can think of.