I remember as if it was yesterday. My friend and I sat in our primary school benches, with our math books open standing up right (yay! for hardcover schoolbooks) pretending to listen to the teacher. In the meanwhile we were reading our books. Oh, we loved to read.. everywhere. But boy were we in trouble when questions were asked and we couldn’t answer… Still remember ;-).
My kids do the same… It’s so annoying! “Please stop reading!! Especially when I try to get your attention!!” But they’ll quickly remind me that I was one of those too. Our family reads everywhere. We don’t travel a day without a book.
According to Charlie Tremendous Jones “you will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Isn’t that true? I wouldn’t be able to count the books I’ve read over the past 30 years. Children’s books, teengirls romans, fiction, christian books, non-christian books, self-development books, finance books, leadership books… the list is endless.
A couple of weeks ago my kids actually forced me to read the first book of John Flanagan’s The Ranger’s Apprentice Series. Over the last 2 years they have been completely preoccupied with the series, and talk about it almost every minute of the day. I made all four of the kids a ranger’s cape, but they got frustrated that I didn’t know what they were talking about. We bought the whole series of 12 books, just so that they could get all their friends to read it too. (So much for our efforts of minimalizing books). I finished the first one… eleven more to go.
But here’s the deal: I love it. It defines who they are. Their thinking. Their worldview.
The same works for me. What I read defines me. And I’m thankful for wise friends who recommend amazing books. I shared my favorite Top 10 here, but I can’t wait to add new ones to the list.
I made the interesting discovery that I actually like non-fiction over fiction. Except for the Rangers’ Apprentice I hadn’t read a fiction book in years. I’ve been haunted by an amazing hunger to learn more, discover more about life, myself and the world we live in.
At this moment I’m reading Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership. And at the same time his book Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money. He’s a wise guy! I enjoy his writing about business and finances. It challenges me out of my socks. With our venture of selling Stroopwafels here in South Africa I need some serious business input.
It shapes my thinking. And it serves me well!
But what if you don’t have time to read?
A busy family, hectic job? I know what you are talking about. In between running a household with four kids, homeschooling, running the family ministry, baking Stroopwafels and writing I found it challenging to make time.
It comes with the first step: make it a priority! If it’s important to you, plan it in.
Here are 4 things that encouraged me to make sure I keep reading:
- Always have a book on your nightstand and read before bedtime. Even if it’s only 5 minutes. I promise you, you will finish your book slowly but surely.
- Track what you read. I found a cute way of capturing books and decided to draw that in my Life Journal. It will boost my enthusiasm to keep going.
- Make sure you only read what you really like. Your time is valuable. If a book doesn’t deliver what you thought it would be, toss it and find a new one. Not finishing is okay! That said, please do find challenging books ;-). It’s good to read things that are a little out of your comfort zone. It will expand your view and give you a new perspective on life.
- Don’t despise the small beginnings. Even one page will do! Treasure the moment <3.
Share what you’re reading with others. It’s such a lost art. Very often we don’t process what we read, we just take it in and move on. I feel sorry for my hubby who needs to hear every new discovery I made while reading a good book. The countless times I’ve told him, ‘you need to read this’. Poor guy! But in the end it’s worth it. It takes us on a journey together.
What are you reading right now? I’m ready for some new titles!! Please post the book title in the comments ;-).
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