By Jennifer Davis Rash
My mother-in-law is an avid reader. That’s one of the things I love about her. She will tackle a new book with fervor and be wrapping up the final chapter within days, sometimes hours if everything lines up just right.
I love to read also, but I can’t seem to find the same discipline she does to complete a book quickly. It takes me much longer to make my way to the end, and I always seem to have seven or eight books in progress at the same time. Of course, reading several at a time rather than one may be part of the reason it takes me so long to finish them!
And while reading for pleasure seems like a luxury I rarely can afford to take, I try to remind myself of the importance it plays throughout our lives.
Studies have proven that babies who are read to learn and develop at faster rates than those who are not. Children who are encouraged to practice reading and develop disciplined reading habits do better in school and expand their social skills more quickly. Teenagers and young adults continue to learn and mature with a reading habit that grows with them.
The reality is that we can continue learning, growing and maturing by reading — no matter our age. Our awareness of the world and its issues is broadened, our knowledge basis is expanded and our ability to think reasonably is enhanced. And for those of us seeking to grow more and more like Christ, our faith is increased as we read and study His Word.
Technology today even allows those with visual disabilities to “read.”
One of the things I love about reading is the discovery process. Whether I’m reading specifically to gather new information or for escape — and no matter if the book or article is amazing or lacking — I always learn something.
Of course, I’m that person who counts any experience a success, even if it is the most boring of situations, as long as I walk away with one nugget of new information.
Another thing I love about reading is where it leads me. Almost every writer will point you to a wealth of new reading material if you pay attention. As I read other writers’ works, I make note of the books, articles, blogs, etc., that he or she references. And then I overwhelm myself trying to read them all!
Readers of The Alabama Baptist newspaper likely notice a similar experience as they flip through each issue. The “extras” are shared in many of the articles for those wanting more than what we can squeeze into our limited space. Readers also may have noticed we are expanding our media reviews section from a monthly feature to a weekly emphasis.
As part of the expanded effort, we will be asking you about the books you are currently reading. From the submissions, we will select a few each month to publish in an upcoming issue.
What new book are you reading right now? Do you recommend it and why? Share your name, church home, city and state along with a brief review of the book you are reading. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “What I’m reading” in the subject line.
Try some of the books that will be recommended and let us know if you agree.
If you have written a new book, then be sure to mail a copy to our book reviewer Martine Bates Sharp at P.O. Box 1504, Hartselle, AL 35640, to be considered for an official review.
And, as always, thanks for reading my column. I appreciate you and the feedback you provide — even if the most popular request is that I change the name to “Ir-Rashional Thoughts.” 🙂