Book Reviews, Christian Living

What makes your reading list?

I’m a huge fan of reading. It is something my father modeled for me, and I try to model it for my kids. In fact, my dad and I have a standing “contest” each year to see who read more books. (He beat me in 2010, but I had a bit going on last year.)

I can honestly say that I have read most of the books on the shelves in my office, around 400 or more volumes. And those are just since Bible College. I even have a “To Read” pile near my desk; a pile that is growing instead of shrinking right now.

If you are not a reader, or you only read fiction instead of non-fiction, I would suggest you try to pick up a few titles. It is very important for you to listen to your local pastors and teachers, and I would never suggest that you trade in your weekly sermon for a hardcover book. But there is a lot of material that is helpful to you, your walk with God, and even your family life.

You’re first question might be, “But what is really worth taking the time to read?” I would suggest you find out what some of the top selling books are. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, compiled a list of The 100 Bestselling Christian Books of 2010 (and no, they’re not just TN books). Many of these books are not new releases, having been on shelves for a number of years. Check out his list as a great starting point.

Still not sure where to start? Ask yourself a few questions to help you choose a book.

  • What do I really want to learn about right?
  • What will enhance my life where I am today? This could be your personal life, family life (yeah, I separated those on purpose), work life, or church life.
  • What message is God trying to grow in me right now?
  • What message is coming from those around me right now? (This just might answer the previous question for you, too.)

Don’t be afraid to walk past books on prayer, worship or Bible study to find other books. A great thing about books is that if you pass by something today, you’ll be able to find it another day.

Here’s one last tip for you: Be led by the Holy Spirit. “To pick a book?” Oh, yes; without question. The bookstore nearest my last church position had a bargain section in the back with a great selection. My budget was slim, but I could always find something. So many times I just read titles and backs of books, one after another. Many times I picked up books I’d never heard of, or something by a new author with his/her first release. God used so many of those titles to speak to me right where I was. It was awesome.

If you lose interest in a book, drop it and start something else. But keep reading. Reading will enhance your life.