Since I have always enjoyed reading, I don’t get hung up on the question of whether I SHOULD read or not because I love to read. The problem is to determine what to read because I like a lot of different kinds of books. I have three large sets of bookshelves in my house and currently there is no room to add another new book. Since I am out of bookshelf space, that means I will need to part with a few since I continue to discover new books I want to read and keep on my shelf for at least awhile.
I am not sure when I really began to love to read, but I do know it is love that has grown throughout my lifetime. When I was in school whether elementary, high school, college, or graduate school, there were many books that I HAD to read that I did NOT love. They were necessary to teach or inform me of things I needed to learn or know. I still own and have on my shelves a few of those, but I am not sure why since I don’t choose them when I am trying to decide what to read.
During those earlier days when I could steal a few minutes away from required reading, I loved diving into a good fiction book that would take me from my routine and stir my imagination about places I had never been, people I had never met, foods I had never tasted, jobs I had never explored, and so much more. I also loved historical fiction and still do since it made the history I loved seem more real and personal somehow.
When I was a young wife and mom, I still loved those great escape novels to add adventure to my days, but I also started reading books about how to be a better wife, a better mom, a better cook, a better house cleaner. The latter selections were helpful, but focused more on what I was doing than on helping me see who I was more clearly.
When I became a Christian, there was a wide array of choices from devotionals to books on doctrine and theology or how to gain healing from our wounds or how to face various trials. There were inspirational books and books meant to teach me something. There were also more translations of the Bible than I had known existed as well as debates about which were the most accurate according to the Greek or Hebrew. Along the way, I likely acquired a good many books and tried out most of the translations in different seasons of my life.
My choice of books to read is primarily guided now by one question. Does it nourish me in some way, in some aspect of my life? If the book nourishes me, it becomes a cherished friend that I never loan or give away.
What books nourish me? I still have a varied appetite. I LOVE great recipe books with photos that go with the recipes to show me the final goal and I enjoy books on healthy eating and exercise, aging well, current politics, biographies, classical novels from Jane Austin and others, as well as a good romance.
The books that nourish me most are those that impact my heart and spirit. I am always on the hunt for those and there are authors I especially love, but truthfully it is when I sit with God’s Word in my lap or on my iPad with a good cup of coffee or tea that I most want to linger in my red chair in the morning. No matter how often I read it, I find something new or different that I had not seen before. I know IT hasn’t changed, but perhaps I have. Perhaps it has changed ME. Actually, I am quite certain it has!