Monday, January 13, 2014

Reading Intentionally

My bookshelves groan under the weight of unread books, some of which have been waiting for years to have their bindings cracked open. My love of books has often been a double-edged sword.  I've tried to read too many, gotten sidetracked by the latest "must read", and generally been overwhelmed so that, at times, reading has been a chore.

Not wanting to continue down this path, I've formulated a reading plan that allows me to immerse myself in certain topics. This year I will be leading a monthly study of Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary. In order to give this study the attention it deserves, all of my reading - including fiction - will be focused on the subject of each chapter. The list of books I'll be reading can be found in the Reading Intentionally in 2014 tab of my blog.

I got a sense of how this will change my reading during December, when all of my reading was focused on the Incarnation. Even though I was reading several books at once, everything fit together. All of a sudden, I felt like I was seeing the bigger picture. It was eye-opening. I'm already seeing the fruit of this approach to this year's reading list.

How did I choose the books I'll be reading? Many of them are already on my shelves or my Kindle. Several are available at my library, and some I'll be borrowing. If I recall, I will need to purchase two. I tried not to overload myself, and to make it interesting and fun. For instance, July's topic is Mentoring. I choose Gospel-Centered Discipleship because in order to teach others to be a disciple, I need to be one myself. And how fun will it be to read Emma with an eye toward the relationship between Emma and Harriett? Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women is a re-read that I'll get to if time permits.

One last element of this reading project is accountability. I drafted a couple of friends to join me in a no-pressure book club. We're all reading Housewife Theologian, but then it's every woman for herself (as long as the books are relevant to each months' topic). We'll be sharing what we're learning and encouraging each other to stick to our plans. I'll be blogging as I'm learning, both here and at my personal blog.

I'm excited about my reading plan, and praying it will change the way I read (and feel about reading). Do you have any reading plans or goals for 2014? If so, we'd love to hear them!

*Portions of this post first appeared here.


  1. I love this: "I've tried to read too many, gotten sidetracked by the latest "must read", and generally been overwhelmed"

    I know that feeling!

  2. This is really smart, the first paragraph describes me from time to time. I'm hoping your suggestions will be helpful to get me on course again. Thanks for sharing. Elaine