Enjoying the Journey

What are you currently reading? Do you have any books to recommend? Who are some authors you enjoy?

These are questions that I frequently get from friends, but in the last few days it seems everyone is trying to find something good to read! With the current world situation we all have a little more time on our hands, and ceaselessly scrolling through social media loses something after awhile. Reading is more than a good hobby – it is an investment. Especially if you are reading worthwhile books.

As I write these words I am sitting in my study surrounded by thousands of volumes. They are like old friends. Occasionally I have to part with some to make room for more, but there are some I would not trade. Within that group there are a few that I go back to again and again.

You see, you never get everything out of a truly great book the first time. At different seasons of life some books take on even more value. They speak to you right where you are.

Let me make clear: there is no book like God’s Word. It stands alone! Scripture is the one library that must never be neglected. Yet the most diligent students of the Bible will be the first to tell you that reading other books helps to develop the whole person.

I believe that everyone should develop the discipline of reading. But as important as it is to read, it is even more important what you read. John Trapp observed, “As water tastes of the soil it runs through, so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.” Choose carefully. Ask for recommendations from those you trust. Books are powerful influences. (Read A Few Thoughts On Books.)

Over the next few weeks I would like to share with you a few of the books on my “short list.” This, by no means, is an exhaustive list. Nor can it be construed as a wholesale recommendation of everything every author has written or done. Remember that sometimes the same people serve as both positive and negative examples. (The Bible is full of such people, and all of us have been both at times!)

Each Tuesday for the next few weeks I will post a recommendation of 5 good books on a particular subject. I would be very interested in what books you would recommend as well. Remember that the goal is not many books, but great ones. Our aim is not reading but growth.

Charles Spurgeon is known as a great communicator, but did you know that he was a voracious reader? He made the following suggestions:

Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them; masticate them and digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analysis of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride come of hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for much reading. In reading, let your motto be “much, not many.”

It is my hope that many people will fall in love with reading again and find a rich reservoir in some of the great books that have been written. Watch for each brief post beginning tomorrow and add a new book to your own library! Soon another week of our quarantine will be “in the books.” Perhaps a week in the books would be good for all of us…

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