I’m a bookworm. I have been since high school.
My high school in Pierrefonds, Qc (MTL stand up!!) was built right near our public library and I spent HOURS there looking up encyclopedias, novels and more (in my school uniform. Classic blue sweater, white turtleneck and grey slacks). I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the week so my imagination was fed through pages and pages of history, poetry, fiction, biographies and how-to-beat-video-games books. I’ve always tried to keep a balanced diet when it comes to reading. This may not be you, but I don’t think it’s healthy to ONLY read spiritual books or ONLY leadership books or ONLY fiction books. It’s good to be well-read in various types of books, for a couple of reasons:
1 – It’s keeps you sharp: Once I’m done a fun book, I’m longing for something deeper. After that, something that stretches my thinking in regards to leadership or culture.
2 – Vocabulary: Different authors, different words, different paintings, different ideas, sentence structures, etc.
3 – Conversation: The more you read, the more likely you’ll be able to enter into various conversations about lots of topics. (it’s funny how the one who only reads one sort of books is lost when any other topic comes us.)
4 – An appreciation for the gift of writing.
5 – A nice book collection (I have MANY leather-bound books…my office smells of rich mahogany…)
6 – You get a deeper perspective on life.
So…that’s why I balance it out. Biographies to know people and how they got to where they are. History to teach us lessons of old. Fiction to help me dream, imagine, paint scenes and grow as a communicator. Leadership to be an effective servant-leader. Spiritual books and essays (and blogs) to fuel the fire in my heart to live a Eph 4:1 life. Sports books to enjoy the highs and lows of teamwork, winning & losing. And culture to have a better understanding of the world I live in, people groups, trends, fashion and what’s ‘next’.
Here’s what I’m currently dabbling through (with hopes of finishing them by new years)
- The Me I Want to Be (John Ortberg) – A book I’m reading with some quality leaders at our church. It’s all about knowing God, knowing how He’s wired you and then taking that information to know Him more. It’s a real eye opener. (4/5th done)
- Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (Reggie Joiner and Carey Niewwhof) – Reading with some of our junior high parents. I figure I want to learn how to be a great dad now and to learn with them is a joy. (3/5th)
- Switch (Chip and Dan Heath) – Leadership book on leading people through change. Good insights so far and the cover is cool. (1/5th)
- The Armageddon Factor (Marci McDonald) – A deep “secular” view of Christian Nationalism in Canada. Funny to see things like The Cry, Canada Christian College and Tyndale in here. It’s a page turner. Was recommended by my good friend Steffan Watson. (2/5th)
- The Book of Basketball (Bill Simmons) – I read it in like 4 days (it’s 700+ pages) but he’s re-releasing it with corrections, new stories and more. And Kobe’s in it. It’s my fun read! (RE-READ)
- and…Decision Points (the Dubya) – I still don’t know if this is chalked up to fiction or not…kidding. His life is so polarizing that not reading it would be criminal. PLUS, it’s reads like he talks…that’s a win-win! (Need to purchase and finish before Becca gets to it. She loves George. Wants to have him over for supper.)
And books I look forward to reading in 2011
They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die like Children by Romeo Dallaire – Child soldiers is a travesty and something that burdens me greatly. I’d love to do something about it one day…
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and/or Roots by Alex Hailey
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha – Cause it’ll be awesome (sorry, it had to be said…)
Journey to The Ring by Phil Jackson – It’s all about the Lakers and winning. Nuff said.
Off-Road Discipleship by Earl Creps
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (I’m VERY excited for this one…don’t know why…)
The Living Church by John Stott
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (yes…the comedic actor writes and his book is getting great reviews) and a whole lot more…and The Help…(Becca and Karen Johnson loved it…)…and The History of SNL…
P.S. You know what’s cool? Seeing my little girl pretend to read. The Kid will take her gabage patch doll, sit with her, pretend to drink tea and read to her Goodnight Moon. The nerd in her is alive and well!
SO….what are you reading? What do you look for in a good book? Where can you beef up/clean up your reading diet? What authors do you abhor/recommend and why? What’s your FAVORITE book (not counting the Bible…). Mine’s a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. If you don’t like reading (which is completely cool), how to do you learn and grow?