Last week I posted about “the dreaded plateau”. In that post I mentioned the importance to read books. I am addressing this thought in more detail for this post. It is extremely important that we continue to read books on a regular basis. In 2003, The Jenkins Group conducted an interesting survey about reading. Here are a few of the results from this survey…
• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
• 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
Obviously things have probably changed since 2003, but I don’t know that they have changed for the better. This study shows us that many people just don’t read. My mentor has said many times that they way we grow and change is by the people we meet and the books we read. As Christians we should continually grow and reading books will help us. Here some things to think about…
- Read the Bible: This should really go without saying but if didn’t mention this, I would feel like I am ignoring the most important of all principles about reading. The Bible is God’s Word, if we are God’s children we should read His Word! The Bible is the way God communicates with us today. Out of all things, the Bible teaches us that it is what makes us mature (perfect), entirely prepared to do good works for Jesus (2 Timothy 3:16-17). There is no way to read the Bible too much! Study it, read it daily, and allow God to use His Word to work in you!
- Read books that will help: There are all kinds of books, so it can be daunting trying to choose a good book. Look for books that deal with topics that you want to grow in. Look for specific topics, like a study of a book in the Bible, or how to handle finances, or how to be a better spouse, raising children, or principles for walking closer to Jesus.
- Who is the author?: Before reading, find out about the author. Does he proclaim to be a Christian? What denomination does he affiliate with? Not every book you read needs to be authored by a Christian, but if I am going to read a book about the missionary life of the Apostle Paul and the author doesn’t believe that Bible is the Word of God, that will definitely determine how I accept the author’s thoughts (if I were to even read a book like that). It is pretty easy to find out about the author of most books.
There are many other principles to use in selecting a good book. The important thing is to know what you are reading, who you are reading after, and to keep reading!