Friday, January 31, 2014

Making time to read

A common comment I receive whenever a conversation turns to reading is a sheepish and slightly embarrassed confession of a lack of time to devote to the endeavor. If this is you, let me assure you that you are not alone! We are all busy and, if you're like me, reading sometimes feels like a guilty pleasure I can't afford.

However, I think we've made the case over the past month's worth of posts that reading is not only fun but beneficial. How then do we make it a priority? Maybe we want to revisit some of the comfort books Persis mentioned or read a book or two on the atonement from Rebecca's list, but life is busy and complicated and we don't have two or three hours in our day to sit down and "just" read.

I find Doug Wilson's advice in his book Wordsmithy to be encouraging. True, it's a book for writers about the writing life but he devotes a chapter to the advantages of reading and reading widely. He advises readers to...

Pace yourself in your reading. A little bit every day really adds up. If you only read during sporadic reading jags, the fits and starts will not get you anywhere close to the amount of reading you will need to do. It is far better to walk a mile a day than to run five miles every other month. Plod. Make time for reading, and make a daily habit of it, even if it is a relatively small daily habit.


I believe firmly in plodding. Productivity is more a matter of diligent, long-distance hiking than it is one-hundred-yard dashing. Doing a little bit now is far better than hoping to do a lot on the morrow. So redeem the fifteen minute spaces. Chip away at it. For example, I usually have a stack of books that I am working through on a catch-as-catch-can basis. Don't despise a page or two of each book every time you sit down to read.

So let us plod on, sisters, and determine to make the time, however small the increment, to read. In so doing may we know the pleasure and the benefit of the discipline.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I am a firm believer in plodding. I also liked what he had to say about those who stumble b/c they can't seem to retain as much as they would like when they read. He reminds us that what we read shapes us, whether we remember all the details or not.
    "Read until your brain creaks!"