Reading can be a very rewarding hobby for those who manage it. While there are many benefits to taking up regular reading, I will not be discussing those reasons here.
It is no secret that life gets in the way and people are finding less and less time to read in a fast paced culture. Part of the way to deal with this is to set some realistic reading goals for yourself in 2016. Here are my top 2 tips on how to do that…
1.Have a List of “16 Books to Read in 2016”
Literally write out a list of 16 books you want to read in 2016. If you try to make a mental note, you will waste a lot of time pondering which book you should read next.
If you have a written list ahead of time, you can check off that book from the list once you’re finished and you can simply see which one you are going to read next. No pondering through bookstores or gazing at your collection to think about it. It’s already been decided.
Additionally, if you begin to fall behind later on in the year, you can look at your list and see that you only have X amount of months to read X amount of books. This will help you stay on track so that you can still work towards finishing that list by the end of 2016.
For example, here is my list of 16 books I am reading in 2016:
- Puritanism – Francis J. Bremer
- Counterfeit Gods – Timothy Keller
- The Doctrine of Repentance – Thomas Watson
- The Call – Os Guinness
- Preaching & Preachers – D Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- Faith – C.H. Spurgeon
- Relativism – Greg Koukl
- The Christian’s Great Interest – William Guthrie
- The Death of Christian Britain – Callum Brown
- Oliver Cromwell – C.V. Wedgwood
- The Reason for God – Timothy Keller
- The Praise of Folly – Erasmus
- Mere Apologetics – Alister McGrath
- Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices – Thomas Brooks
- Jonathan Edwards on Revival – Jonathan Edwards
- Counter Culture – David Platt
These books vary in size and subject matter. Personally, I try to read in a pattern of one Puritan-related book and then one non-Puritan-related book. But that’s just me.
2.Read 2016 Pages in 2016
If reading 16 books in 2016 seems like an unreachable goal for you, attempt to read 2016 pages (not including title pages, table of contents, references, etc.)
Suppose an average book is 300 pages, your goal would only be to read about 6-7 books in 2016 (depending on the size of the book). That’s about the equivalent of 1 book every 2 months.
Again, you can write out a list of books that have pages which add up to (around) 2016 pages. Check them off as you go along.
This year, make more time for reading actual books. One of the best ways to do that is to put down your phone, e-mail, social media, Youtube, Netflix, etc. When life gets busy, it’s nice to take time at the beginning, middle, or end of the day to simply read a good book.
Find out what is stealing most of your potential reading time and schedule in reading time in its place. If you are finding that you don’t have time to read but you have lots of time for your smart phone, then you may want to consider using that time before bed to read an actual book instead of Facebook.
As you go along reading from your list of 16 books to read in 2016 or reading 2016 pages in 2016, you will begin to feel a sense of accomplishment as you check off the books you’ve read. Make some time for reading this year.
– Tyson Bradley