When was the last time you read a book? Some people always seem to have one or more in some stage of completion. Some read hundreds of pages a day like my amazing cousin Debra. Others go months or years without reading any book cover to cover.
The danger is greater now with the busyness of schedules and the proliferation of short communications – tweets, text messages, status updates, email, etc. I confess that in my daily world I bounce between emails, social media sites, newsletters, instant messages and text messages, all in a seeming nonstop, random back and forth like a shiny silver ball between pinball bumpers. Such behavior does not lend itself to the longer, slower, focused practice of taking one’s time through hundreds of pages of a book.
After staring for years at a large book on my “must read sometime” shelf, I finally made the decision Saturday to dive in and bite off a small section a day – only 25 pages. At that pace, the 1,290 pages of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology will take me 50+ days to complete. In only my fourth day of reading it, however, I am already regretting that such wealth has been sitting unopened on my shelf within reach for years without me having the good sense and discipline to take advantage of it. When it is done, Gregg Allison’s 778-page Historical Theology awaits.
I realize that many of us live by our electronic devices, so go ahead and buy that Kindle or Nook or e-reader of your choice if that’s what gets you into reading. For substantive things of this nature in my reading, I’ll stick with the hard copy. My current electronic devices won’t be around years from now. My hard copies will still be here just as the other 100+ year old books that line some of my shelves at home. They become references and old friends that you know… well… like a book.
As one all too familiar with the temptation to hurry and rarely slow down, I suggest you take time out from that pace to ponder some subject you want to know more about, and then act out leap year lesson #216 – Read a book.