Confessions of a Former Reader

books

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I used to be an avid reader. I devoured books. Inhaled them. I would stay up all hours of the night to finish just one more chapter, which, in actuality turned into reading the entire book in one sitting. I loved books. When I was a little girl, my mom would take me to the library, and I'd max out my library card on Nancy Drew mysteries and Sweet Valley Twins volumes. In high school, my obsession with Mary Higgins Clark novels led me to read every single book she ever wrote. In college, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on.

Then I went to seminary, and my days of reading for pleasure ended abruptly. I had no time to read for pleasure after I finished reading for class. And let me tell you: there was lots of reading for class. We read books and wrote reviews to sharpen our critical thinking skills, and apparently those skills needed lots of sharpening, because I read hundreds of books and thousands of pages for my classes.

During each semester, I compiled a list of books that I would like to read, if only I had the time. But I never had the time. I always imagined that after graduation I would pick up where I left off in my love affair with books.

But it seems that books and I are still taking a break in our relationship. I honestly do not remember the last book I read from cover to cover, and that's a shame, because we really did have a good thing going back in the day.

I'm trying to repair our broken relationship, but it's not easy. My attention span just isn't what it used to be, and sometimes taking a nap is a lot more appealing than opening a book. But I'm trying. I started by purchasing one of the books on my wish list: The God I Don't Understand, by Christopher Wright. And I'm making progress. Just last night I turned the page on chapter five.

In addition to actually purchasing a book, I have also signed up as a reviewer for Book Sneeze, a book review program offered by Thomas Nelson. Basically, I receive free books in exchange for blogging book reviews. I like free books. Don't you? I should be receiving my first book soon. Don't worry, I'll tell you all about it later.

Reading is a discipline that I have neglected lately, but it's a discipline that's absolutely necessary for any writer. All good writers are voracious readers. That's just how it is. You cannot be a good writer unless you are first a good reader. I'm afraid that the drought in my writing life is directly tied to the drought in my reading life. Reading introduces me to fresh ideas and even sharpens my critical thinking skills.

I guess the professors knew what they were doing when they forced us to read.

But I will never forgive a certain church history professor for making me read all 736 pages of Creeds of the Churches. Never. I'm just saying.

All of this thought about books has made me wonder what everyone else is reading these days. What's on your nightstand? What should I add to my reading list? Go on and tell me. I want to know!

Until next time, grace and peace.