I have known few people who are exceptional in their career without making reading a personal habit. A great mentor, Saint Paul who wrote the greater part of the New Testament and was noted to be highly successful apostle once told his protege to “give attendance to reading” (1Tim 4:13).
Personally, reading has benefited my life aside few other important things. It was in the process of reading a book that I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Reading to me is living. I believe when you stop reading and learning, you stop living and start dying.
Wear the old coat and buy the new book
I started to make reading my habit by shifting my interest from other distracting things in life. It all began with the quest to know more which not many things could offer apart from reading. Whenever I visited bookstores in those days and see books that I could not aford to buy, I straightaway made up my mind to keep managing my clothes and save money meant for fboth food and clothes to buy the desired books.
Reading Requires Discipline
Groucho Marx once said, “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” That’s what it demands to make reading your habit – discipline. You must learn to say no to endless sitting of watching television to reading books. There are other things apart from television that you will need to honourably avoid in order to give attention to reading.
Wisdom is needed in getting the best out of reading. And the wisdom comes when you read selectively. Developing a good reading habit comes with the understanding that all books are not meant to be read at the same level, with the same commitment and concentration.
Just like Francis Bacon said, Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” In other words, some books are meant for motivation, some for information, some for education, but only the most important ones are for transformation.
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
― Mortimer J. Adler
For instance, Bible is the number One Book for Personal Transformation. Although, it motivates, informs, educates, but the the main assignment scriptures perform is transformation. That’s why reading, studying, meditating and applying the writings of the Bible is your sure path to personal transformation.
Make Reading Time Flexible
There’s nothing bad in having a fixed time for reading. My personal fixed time for reading comes during the early hour of the day and almost the last thing before bed. But making reading your habit must go beyond a fixed time. The simple rule is: read all the time whenever the opportunity shows up
Many of us have free time that we don’t usually maximize. Here are the free time I use to catch up with reading: Waiting on the queue, waiting to catch the next flight, flight time before arrival, waiting for appointment time after arriving earlier than scheduled and any other opportunity I see as free time.
I believe there’s more to what I have shared with you. I’ll still continue on the subject of reading as the Lord permits in the next week post. But I like to encourage you that the best way to make reading your habit is to READ! READ! READ!
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin