Revised: March 24, 2016.
At Behind the Books, Jon Boyd described his “Seven Kinds of Reading” and he invited readers to let him know about their own routine or habits of reading. so I thought I’d post about my own habits. I’d be happy to hear about your own reading routines too. You can let me know by commenting below.
Here’s how reading happens in a normal day in my own life at this time:
Like Jon, I have particular times throughout the day when I can read, and I have books for each of those times. I also have books in various rooms of the house. For good or ill, I am getting fewer books read than I did before the digital revolution. I now read many blog posts and articles on line. I find this beneficial, particularly in keeping me up on what is happening in the church, the theological sphere, and the world, but I do miss the time I used to have to read through whole books.
1. While dressing or puttering around in the bedroom, I listen to a Christian audio book – generally one that I have gotten as a free monthly offering from Christianaudio.com.
2. Doing chores in and around the house, or jogging, or driving, I listen to an mp3 player. I subscribe to a number of regular podcasts which I download each week, and I have begun to add to that mix Utube items suggested by FB friends, blog posts etc., which convert to mp3 files. When I get through those items in the course of the week, I listen to a novel, generally a free one from Librivox. I am working my way through the list in 1001 Books You Must Read Before you Die, and I’ve read some fascinating stuff.
3. I read at breakfast and lunch, but then I generally read magazines, journals, or academic papers which I have requested from conference presenters, so books don’t show up in this slot. A fair bit of blog material arises from this – more than I have been finding time to write up, unfortunately.
4. As part of my morning and evening prayer times, I usually work my way through a devotionally oriented book or Bible commentary.
5. I have a novel on my Kindle (often another from the “1001 Books list”) which I read for relaxation, while travelling on public transportation, or in dentist’s offices etc., where concentration is difficult. This may be interrupted by a book of interest from the public library, usually of the non-fiction genre, biography, self-help etc.
6. I usually have one or two theology books under way for careful reading and interaction on my blog. These can take a while because I generally deal with them a chapter at a time rather than in the style of a journal book review. They end up being serialized review articles, in which I get a chance to work out a fair bit of my own theological development on the topics at hand.
7. I read through a book with Gail after supper when we are on our own.
I think that pretty much covers my routine. It entails reading numerous books simultaneously, so that it can be a long time before one gets finished, but it is interesting how often they inform one another – kind of like preaching from the lectionary.
On my blog site, I have two lists up and running. One lists “Books I’m reading,” and the other lists “Books I finished,” starting in 2010, which was when I began to digitize my record of these, after many years of a hand written list.
What are your reading habits?