5 Ways You Can Read More Books Next Year

Last year I tried something I had never done before. I tried to read 50 books by the end of the year (and amazingly, I did). But I wondered if my strategy would work again this year.

5 Ways You Can Read More Books Next Year

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I thought perhaps last year was a fluke, so I tried it again this year. Guess what? It still works.

Because your life, like mine, is busy, I’d like to share with you 5 ways I’ve found that you can read more books—and 5 ways you can even find some free ones.

(If you’re curious, I’ll also share the 50 books I read—and tell you my favorite.)

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Why You Shouldn’t Recommend a Book You Haven’t Read

I once led a church small group where I had fallen behind in preparation. To buy some time, I asked each participant to purchase a certain book, read the first chapter, and we would discuss it. Big mistake.

Why You Shouldn’t Recommend a Book You Haven’t Read

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We sailed through the first part of the chapter until we slammed into a wall. A theological wall. This well-known author took potshots at a theological position we held as a church.

What was my mistake? I hadn’t read the book before.

Here’s what happened.

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Why You’ll Never Find the Bottom of Your Bible

We have an inexhaustible text.

We have thousands of questions on dozens of issues the Bible never addresses. On other topics though, it seems it’s just the opposite. Scripture supplies liberal space to minutiae that seem trivial.

Why You'll Never Find the Bottom of Your Bible

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Let’s be honest. Have you wondered if we need all the Bible gives us?

  • Take genealogies, for example. Do we really need nine chapters of 1 Chronicles to tell us who begat who? I mean, would our faith fall apart if we didn’t know Hadad begat Bedad?
  • And what about Deuteronomy’s lengthy retelling of the Law?
  • Or even the huge amount of content devoted to repeating the same events of Peter’s visit to Cornelius?

These represent mere samples of what seem like a lopsided emphasis. I mean, if we only have so many verses in the Bible, could we not give a little less to the genealogies and more to, say, how to raise a teenager?

Amazingly, in spite of all the Bible doesn’t tell us, it still remains an inexhaustible book.

You’ll never find the bottom. Here’s why.

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You Can Read More Books than You Think

For many years, December showed up and I realized I had read very few books that year. This year, I thought I’d try to read more. I set a personal goal to read 50 books by December 31.

It was a crazy goal because I had “no time.” With a busy family, a full-time (plus) job, a demanding blogging and writing schedule, and lots of home projects on my plate, I held the goal loosely—but pursued it eagerly.

You Can Read More Books than You Think You Can

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Amazingly, this week I completed the goal. (If you’re interested, I’ve listed the 50 books at the end of this post.)

But more importantly, I want to show you how I tackled the goal in order to encourage you that you can read more than you think you can.

You really can.

I would also love for you to tell me how you read books and what books you enjoyed this year.

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8 Ways You Can Start Redeeming the Time

Did the Apostle Paul have your commute in mind?

I hate wasting time. Time is more valuable than money, because once spent it’s gone forever. Time clicks by at 1440 minutes each day. Rich or poor, we all get the same amount.

When Paul wrote to the Colossians and Ephesians about “making the most of your time” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5), he probably didn’t have in mind multitasking or maximizing your commute.

Or maybe he did?

8 Ways You Can Start Redeeming the Time

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The phrase “making the most of your time” literally means “redeeming the time.” It refers to buying something out completely—you leave nothing on the shelves. Paul’s term for “time” refers to a moment of time—not to a lifetime.

In other words, each moment and season of time is our opportunity and responsibility. An effective use of time ultimately should show itself in knowing Christ and making Him known.

Because time is our most valuable resource—spent only once—I always try to make the most of it. If I can get something done while walking across the room, I will.

Here are 8 ways I am redeeming the time that you can too.

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10 Free Christian E-Books for the Spiritual Life

And a few other resources for free e-books.

I’m always looking for a good source for free Christian e-books. A little searching yielded some great results I’ll share with you. If you have an iPad or Kindle or some other device (even a computer) that allows you to read e-books, you’ll want to take advantage of some great free titles.

ebooks offer great titles

(Photo: Andrea Sánchez, via Vivozoom)

Amazon now sells more e-books than physical books. The advantage is that many classic titles on the spiritual life or Christianity are available dirt cheap—and some for free.

Often with free e-books, you get what you pay for. But if you’re willing to sift through the haystack, you’ll find some gems.

I did some digging and I’ve provided links to some great free Christian e-books—as well as how to search for others.

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