Fairly often I receive questions about my reading habits. This week I received an email that stated/asked:
I am impressed by how much time you, as a pastor, spend reading. Do you have any general guidelines about how much time you spend studying?
I thought this might be helpful to a wider audience, so here’s how I answered the email:
Thanks for your email.
I don’t know how much time I spend reading and I don’t have any big guideline suggestions.
For me, I simply love to read. I love to learn. I let curiosity/pleasure guide my reading. If I’m curious about a certain area of doctrine, I read about it. If I’m curious about a certain figure from church history or about the geography of Alaska, I read about it and ask other people about it.
So, reading isn’t a chore or a scheduled thing for me, it’s just an easy joy. The more I learn about God and this world he’s made us the more my capacity to enjoy God grows, so I keep reading.
I tend to always have a book with me and so I make time for reading when waiting in lines, in between meetings, etc.
Hope some of this helps.
The book, How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler was helpful to me when during my later college years my love for reading really began to grow.
I never read without a pen in my hand. I read like I’m having a conversation with somebody…I ask the book questions, I note my agreement and disagreement, I scribble little ideas and such in the margins.
Does this help?