I may have mentioned already that I love reading, and all sorts of things associated with it. I love reading books, but I also, and maybe especially, love talking about books. I consistently update my Goodreads account because I like tracking my progress and being able to see what I’ve read. I love libraries, not just because there are books but because they are generally well-lit, and quiet. If you bring your own coffee, it’s remarkable how comfortable and focused you can be without paying for a $5 latte! I love finding new favorite books, and get better at reading for not just entertainment, but to appreciate the gift of words and the craft of writing.
The last few years, I have set reading goals for myself using Goodreads, and last year I think that I read around 30 books — more than I have since my single days when I was only working part time after college. This year I have set a goal of reading 35 books, and am hoping that despite the fact that my class this semester has only online articles and excerpts that won’t count toward my goal, I will still be able to read or listen to more than last year. As I work toward that goal, I’m also attempting the Tim Challies Reading Challenge with some friends and family. I’m adapting it a bit by choosing around 30 themes off the entire list rather than going with the assigned groups. I love the idea of this challenge because it’s not a strict list that mandates what you read exactly, but gives you helpful categories of books to help you read broadly — books that you might have read anyway and books that you would have likely skipped over.
So far, even though I’ve read several books this year, only a few of them fit in these categories.
- On Writing, by Stephen King. I asked for this book for my birthday in November because I had heard that it was “the best” book on writing, and I love reading nerdy books about two of the three R’s (sorry, ‘rithmetic). This counted as my “Book on Writing” for the Reading Challenge.
- The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien. These books…I’ve read them probably six or seven times. This time I’ve been listening to them, narrated by Rob Inglis. I’ve really been enjoying little nuggets of wisdom and wit that I hadn’t noticed before (I’m now listening to The Return of the King). I’m squeezing Fellowship into the “Book With At Least 400 Pages” category.
- The Pleasures of Reading In A Distracted Age, by Alan Jacobs. This is just a “Book of Your Choice”, and I was really glad to read it. It’s only around 160 pages long, and was a good encouragement that reading is (or should be) simultaneously fun and worthwhile.
There are few more categories that I’m particularly excited about. Here are a few, in case you’re not yet convinced to check out the challenge.
- A book about the Reformation
- A book with a great cover
- A graphic novel
- A photo essay book
- A book you own but have never read
- A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with.
Sound fun? I think so!