Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

6 Thoughts on My Approach to Reading

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I’ve always enjoyed reading, most likely getting my love of reading from my parents, both of whom loved books. My wife Tammy enjoys a good book as well, so on a nice evening in Illinois, with the sun going down, mosquitoes biting and the crickets chirping, you might just find us out on the patio with the glow from our Kindle and iPad screens illuminating our faces.
I expect to read about 75 books this year, in addition to my daily readings (more about them below). How many books you might read will depend on a number of factors, such as your love for reading and the amount of time you have available for reading.
Here are 6 thoughts on my approach to reading:

  1. I read books in a number of different genres, such as theology, biography, faith and work, personal and professional development, leadership and sports. I always have a list of books “on deck” to read next.   What I choose to read at a given time will depend on a number of factors such as:
  • What kind of book I just finished.
  • What kind of book I’m in the mood for.
  • Whether I am reading to prepare for a talk I am going to be giving or a class I’m going to be teaching.
  • Whether one of my favorite authors has a new book out. There’s nothing finer than finding a new release from a favorite author.
  1. I rarely will read a physical book. In fact, the only times I’ve read a physical book over the past several years has been if I was reading an advanced copy of a book or if I were reading a book that isn’t available in the Kindle format, usually a book from the Banner of Truth. I’m usually reading two books at a time, one on my Kindle, and the other an audiobook from either Audible (from whom I have a monthly subscription) or Christianaudio, who offers some excellent sales, most notably their Twice-Yearly sale where almost their entire inventory is available for just $7.49. Since I review all books that I read, I’ve found that for myself not all books are good to listen to in the audiobook format, though biographies are particularly good, especially if narrated by the author. In addition, the narrator (reader) of the audiobook can make a big difference. My favorite narrator is Maurice England. He’s got a great story of listening to in excess of 1,000 audiobooks during a 12-year career as a truck driver. Find out more about Maurice here.
  2. Reading for my blog. I am always reading two books for my blog – one general book and one specifically related to faith and work. Each week, I’ll share highlights from a chapter of the book in that week’s blog.
  3. Daily Readings. Each day, usually while riding my exercise bike, I’ll read a number of daily readings, including a chapter from the Bible, the daily reading from Tabletalk magazine, a book of prayers and a few devotionals.
  4. Re-reading of books. I remember listening to a podcast a few years ago when a pastor encouraged the listeners to read less books overall, but to read good books more often. Applying that advice, there are a number of books that I have read more than once. Among those books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Prayer by Tim Keller, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell, and most recently The Gospel at Work by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger.
  5. I want to share what I learn in the books that I read. As a result, I always write a review of the book. I’ll share the review in a number of places, including my blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Do you have other thoughts about how you approach reading?

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

One thought on “6 Thoughts on My Approach to Reading

  1. I’ve often wondered about how you get so much reading done. Then on top of that you write prolific reviews! And you did that while working full time, taking classes, serving at church and spending time with Tammy. Wow!

    I like to include books that are about the different places in which I find myself living. When I first got here I read some books on the history of this area. I just finished a fictional book set in Carolina called, Under the Mercy Trees.

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