I’m a bad, bad, bad procrastinator. But somehow, I manage to get some really important things done. And some other not so important things – at least, so they seem. Quite recently, I have been thinking about my much acclaimed love for reading, and about how little reading I actually do. I have ordered books off Amazon in hopes that I will one day read them. For some reason, the drive is not really there – at least, not much of it is anymore.
My reading journey began with some large-lettered Reader’s Digest books my dad used to keep back home in Nigeria. My dad loves to read! And, I remember quite clearly how much he used to ‘lecture’ me a lot in my much younger days about reading and its many benefits. Well, he still does every once in a while.
When he first moved to the United States, he left many of his books behind. Of course, the only items that I fancied were his Reader’s Digest books. They were exactly six – I counted every time – large books, about as large as Francine Rivers’ “A Lineage of Grace” which I am currently trying to read. Now, absolutely nothing would have made me read such big books, but something about the font and layout drew me in. In those books, I read stories like John Grisham’s “The Firm” which by the way I don’t really remember much of, except that it was a really intriguing story. I might have to re-read the story to really understand it, but another challenge I have is reading things twice; because of this, I take as long as I need to understand what I read the first time. There was another story I really loved, though I can’t quite recall the title. It was about an eagle that was raised by a human, specifically a man. I learned a new word, “imprinting.” Big deal for my young, impressionable mind. As I write this, other stories are coming back to me…
As I grew older, I discovered that reading was indeed a beautiful experience. I didn’t really like to read much, but I found some easy reads that were still solid enough for me to mull over for a long time. Max Lucado became my friend – through his books. I loved his laid back writing style, much like a discussion you would have with close friends over lunch or something of the sort. Prior to 2006, I had never read a book cover-to-cover in less than a week. Then I met Ted Dekker. Well, again, not literally. I read his book “Blink” and was really amazed by the amount of fact his fiction was based on. I also read Frank Peretti’s “The Visitation,” Francine Rivers’ “Redeeming Love,” Tess Gerritsen’s “Vanish,” Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code,” Dean Koontz’s “The Husband” and the awesome Peretti-Dekker collabo, “House” which I actually finished in one day. A dear friend even tried to get me to read stories about the vampire Lestat, but without any success. For a while, this gave my reading journey the jolt I needed. However, I am afraid my reading life found a place on the shelf a couple years ago. I now have my own bookshelf, and am collecting my own copies of the very books that got me started down this reading path – plus a few other books. I have books on my Kindle and Kobo apps as well. But the challenge remains: to actually pick up the books and read.
While I believe that it is important to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to do your very best, at some point or the other in life you will have to go it alone on some things – at least, for a while. So, I will be taking this reading challenge upon myself; I will begin with getting through the book I am currently reading in as short a time as possible, then progress to setting reading goals for myself. If anything, I hope I can pass on a reading habit to my children – when I eventually have them. For now, I invite you to do something beneficial for yourself today, something you have been putting off for far too long. Take the challenge.
I dedicate this post to my dad, for inspiring me to be a reader.