Cultivating a Love for Reading

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“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
–Atwood H. Townsend

Young and old should not be without the love of reading. “The love of books is the doorway through which we enter into the purest and perfect pleasure God has prepared for us. Love of books lasts when all other pleasures pass.” If we do not treasure the privilege of reading, we should cultivate it. We ought to make it a habit. If we are persistent in applying this habit, a love for reading will blossom forth, and this love will continue to multiply and increase as the years go by. (Quoted from a persuasive speech I wrote in high school)

How do we cultivate the discipline of reading?

1. Keep a book wherever you visit most around the house

It is very helpful for me to keep a book on the kitchen table, to catch a few snippets while my soup is simmering on the stove, or while I am eating my breakfast. Keep books in the bathroom ;) . I keep one also in my nursing chair, so I can read while nursing my baby. This has been very helpful so I don’t have to get up and search for my book while nursing.

2. Keep a book in the car or your purse

Keep a book in the car, as this is a wonderful opportunity to read together with your hubby or siblings while driving. My sister used to always read to my younger siblings while we were driving around (going to music lessons, etc). Not only did it strengthen the sibling bond, but they were able to complete a lot more reading this way. Aaron & I have been able to put travel time to valuable use by reading on the road. Currently, we are almost through The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis this way! It is also helpful to have one in the car or purse to pull out while waiting for an appointment.

3. Discipline yourself to read a page a day!

When life gets too busy and complex, one of the first parts of a healthy spiritual life to decline is reading. I have found this to be so in my life. The thought of reading pops into my mind in a free moment, only to be kicked out as I think of that other thing I could be doing with this extra time (deep cleaning, that last load of laundry, etc). Do you think you could read one page a day? That would accumulate up to 365 pages in a year, or the approximate volume of 2 full-length books. If you read this many books for the rest of your life, think of all the books you could read!

“By this means of just a page a day, I’ve seen mothers of multiple preschoolers, homeschooling moms, and overwhelmed executives alike plow through a book every month or two. It wasn’t because they had any less to do. Rather, the secret lay in the simple discipline of making the commitment to read just one page. Invariably, of course, when they read one page they decided to read more. The main problem was just getting to that first page. once that was done, the rest was not only easy but enjoyable as well.” - Donald Whitney

There are many out there who have no problem reading through numerous books in a month or year, but for a slower and more methodical reader like myself (who has to re-read things over and over to comprehend them), this idea has inspired me again and again! My goal this year has been to read a book each month with this encouragement. I am already passing up that goal! It’s a miracle!

Encouragement for Singles: Now is the time to study and learn as much as possible! The next season may not have such freedom!

4. Try scheduling time in to read

If you are a schedule oriented person, try scheduling time in your day for reading. This does not work for me in this season, but it has in the past. Try just taking a 30 minute block of time and devote it to this discipline.

May you be inspired to build the discipline of reading no matter what time restraints you have! It is possible!

Mark Twain once said, “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

Take the words of Dr. Seuss, “the more that you read, the more things you know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

You are invited to join us for the upcoming book study on The True Woman! For more details click here

Do you have any ideas on how to find time for reading?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

15 Responses to Cultivating a Love for Reading

  1. Christine April 17, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    A friend of mine had a great idea for reading. He suggest reading 2-3 books (of different topics: ie, marriage, prayer, evangelism) at a time, about 1 chapter from each per day (this takes less than an hour for 3 books!) as you have time throughout the day. He got the idea after watching his mom watch 4-6 sitcoms in a row each night. Because each show had a different storyline/characters/etc., her attention was kept on the TV the entire time.
    Before, I thought I had a “bad habit” of reading multiple books at a time, but it has actually proved to be very succesful. It doesn’t require nearly aas much time as it sounds!

  2. Sarah March 2, 2008 at 2:10 am #

    I love reading, I get an hour to do so each weekday commuting to work. I always carry two books with me in case the train breaks down and I am stuck on it for hours LOL.

  3. CC February 29, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    I really, really, really miss my reading! But I’m spending too much time on the computer these day! :) :)

  4. Mrs. Taft February 27, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

    I love reading, it’s not a discipline for me :D LOL! I love the purse book idea though.

  5. Amy February 27, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    Just a hello from a first time reader – Great tips on reading!

  6. mom2fur February 27, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    I keep magazines with articles I’ve flagged in the bathroom. Most only take a few minutes to read. For books…after my husband gets up, I like to sit and read in bed, with my cup of coffee and whatever I’m having for breakfast. Of course, this is easier now that my kids are older. But I agree…if you try, it isn’t that hard to find time to read. And the best thing is the example you set for the kids who see you doing it!

    • Tootie February 27, 2008 at 9:54 am #

      I always take one to the doctor’s office, where I’m almost guaranteed at least 15 minutes of reading while I wait. It makes the time go by faster, and I fit some reading in my day.

      Good post – thanks!

  7. britni February 27, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    I don’t know about you, but I like to keep a book right outside my bathroom door. I’ll take the book in with me and read a page or two while I’m in the bathroom. Keeps me occupied and I get the reading in. I’ll also take it with me when I know I’ll be waiting somewhere like a Dr. appt or picking up my husband.

  8. Jendeis February 27, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    I too love to read and also (guiltily) keep a couple books and magazines in the bathroom, because it’s the only place I get to sit down with some quiet.

    I also highly recommend audiobooks, something I’ve really gotten into. I have audiobooks in my car and on my iPod for use during cleaning or exercising.

  9. Risha February 27, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    Thanks for the great ideas! I love reading and have really struggled with keeping it a part of my daily life since I’ve had my daughter (currently 10m) and started a job working from home. I wil say that I keep my current book(s) in the bathroom, but it takes me so much longer to finish the book if that’s my only reading time! ;) I will have to try implementing some of your tips!

  10. Tami February 27, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    My husband and I are huge readers. We usually have several books going at once. My children have also become great readers. I will go up to bed a little early and read before going to sleep and always take a book with me to appointments and waiting in line to pick my son up from pre-school.

  11. Edi February 27, 2008 at 5:25 am #

    Best way for me to get in my reading is to do it while I exercise. I do the Nordic Trak every day for 20-25 min and I have to read while I do it…

  12. Laura February 27, 2008 at 5:01 am #

    I love to read. When I was younger I would go to the library once a week and would often read a 200 page book in a day (this was in the summer of course.) Reading is wonderful. Yet I haven’t been able to enjoy it much any more. When I got to college I was so warn out of reading after my studies that I never read anything fun. Now I am done with school, but my life is so hectic I can’t seem to find time to read. I’ve tried scheduling it, but it never happens. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do more reading again.

    • Lindsay February 27, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

      Laura, why not try to read just a page a day, as I mentioned above? It’s a lot easier than you may think. Balancing your reading is very important as well. School books definitely would get old, but if you begin to delve into some solid Christian materials, you will not regret it!