The list of books at the bottom of the previous post is actually a month or so old. All but one of them has been read. Sometimes people wonder how could someone read 4-6 books simultaneously. Well, reading is part of my job description, so it does make it easier for me in some regards to read a lot more than it might be for others. However, I almost never sit down and read a single book through from cover to cover.
My mind wanders, needs to process what I’ve read or simply needs other stimulation to keep from falling asleep (especially if I am reading something weighty. meditating is tiring!). Sometimes I want to read something that will send my mind on a quick vacation by reading on some topic that I am interested in learning about, but do not wish to be an expert. Tony Reinke would put it like this:
Books I have no intention of reading cover-to-cover are kept beside my bed. I’ll grab one of these volumes and read for about 20 minutes each night before falling asleep. This stack is constantly cycled, but here is a current picture: (Click here for rest of the article on finding time to read)
So I too have a stack of general interest books lying around the house (bedroom, den, bathroom, family room, office) that I can read a bit here, a bit there and be mentally engaged or entertained without feeling the need to carry the author’s thought or theme throughout. Marsden’s A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards is serving just such a purpose along with Bauerlein’s social critique of the “plugged in world” in The Dumbest Generation. Two totally different books, and yet as I read them simultaneously, I find connections between the two that are truly stimulating to consider.
Anyway, here’s to using books as a way to engage the mind, transport the imagination, edify the soul, and feed the natural human curiosity without the mind numbing bane of channel surfing. Here’s to all of us finding more time to read!