A few years ago, when I was in the midst of the work on my D.Min., I essentially stopped reading. I was still “reading” but it was almost entirely what I needed to read for my coursework, or what I needed to be ready to preach. What I stopped doing was reading for simply personal enrichment, personal pleasure, or information that broadened my horizons about the world in general.
Before that, I literally read all the time. I read novels and non-fiction, newspapers and magazines. Although long a fan of history and murder mysteries, I read very broadly. I read prolifically and often. In fact, I was often reading several books at once. There might be a Sue Grafton or Tony Hillerman mystery on the night stand, a biography or book of history by my chair in the living room, the latest book by Eugene Peterson or Dallas Willard on the desk in my study. Joke books and Sports Illustrated in the bathroom and a prayer book and a newspaper tucked under my arm as I entered a restaurant for breakfast.
To be honest, five years later, I still have not recovered my stride in reading. And at times I spend so much time reading news, commentaries and blogs on-line that it takes me even longer to get through a murder mystery and I have to go on retreat to read significantly on spiritual matters. My wife, bless her soul, reads all the time; often turning off the TV or away from the computer to pick up a book.She sometimes even forgets to go to bed because the story she is reading “is too good to put down.”
It is a sad thing when a man becomes such a public person or social creature that he steps away from the solitary discipline of reading. Maybe instead of saying, “Do you Twitter?” we need to start asking, “Read any good books lately?”
Recently I have reintroduced the discipline of reading for pleasure and personal enrichment into my rhythm for living. Hopefully, I will be richer for it.
By the way, as a reader of this blog, do you have any good books you would suggest?