Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Stack of Books...

I have such a nice stack of delicious books to devour.

It feels so good just to know that I actually plan to read them! It's been a long two years since I pretty much stopped reading books (other than the Bible and totally necessary policy-related stuff) because of the crazy busyness of my life. I just couldn't justify spending even fifteen extra minutes a day reading a book (regardless of the great edification and education contained) when I was so behind with everything that HAD to be done.

Life has settled down considerably (for the moment, anyway) which I am so grateful for. Of course, there are still more things to do than I will ever accomplish, but my "crisis schedule" isn't absolutely crazy every day anymore. Many days I actually get a somewhat healthy amount of sleep and I find myself washing dishes and doing laundry and doing all of those things from my past life. I love it! Part of a healthier schedule means that I have decided to include some book reading from time to time. : )

I really NEED some book reading, anyway. I read an interview with Governor Blunt last month where they asked him about his personal reading habits. He said that he reads (can't remember exactly) something like 7 or 8 new books a year. In different, earlier interview, he said he reads something like 3-5 chapters of the Bible every morning as well (can't remember exactly on that one, either). I've marveled that the Governor manages to read that much and I have only limped through two books in the last two years. Maybe he does have more free time than I do or maybe he uses his time more wisely than I do, but in either case, I think it is pathetic that I haven't read hardly anything!

Over the past two years, I have felt my brain growing increasingly dull and stale. I used to constantly feed it new things to think about and meditate on, but in recent months and years, the only new thoughts are my own that come from reading Scripture, hearing sermons, and reading emails!

I often think of what my friend, Maja, once said, "Five years from now you will have grown as much as the friends you keep and the books you read. Nothing will change you more than those two factors in your life."
When she said that years ago - exhorting me to read more good books - I smiled and thought, "That's a pretty bold statement!" But, as I have watched the truth of it in my life and the lives of others (for some, music and movies would have to be added to the "books" column), I have become convinced that she is absolutely right. The people we are friends with (including family, co-workers, anyone who we spend a significant amount of time with) and the books we read change us more than anything else!

The books are sitting here... now I just need to read them! I'm trying to save fifteen minutes most days for reading. As a side benefit, you'll get to read the very best parts here! : )

Right now, my stack includes:

Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, John Piper

The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit, Matthew Henry

Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, David Kirby

New Age Lies to Women, Wanda Marrs

Too Much of a Good Thing : Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age,
Dan Kindlon, Ph.D.

Common Cents, How Congress Really Works and What We Must Do to Fix It,
Representative Timothy J. Penny

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care,
Jennifer Block

Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God With a Hope Deferred,
Carolyn McCulley

Can Man Live Without GOD? Ravi Zacharias


Laurel said...

I'm looking forward to both gleaning from the fruits of your reading and being challenged to do more of my own.

mikestahlman said...

One of the best things I did to give me more reading time was getting rid of the television and any computer games. I also found it a little funny that since I've started school, I have less time to read things that are worth while - school is making me less of a scholar in other words. Enjoy!