I have always loved to read even as a young girl and I could usually be found with a book in hand. As I've aged and technology has changed the reading game a bit, I wanted to share how I use my technology in my reading schedule.
My husband bought me the Kindle 1st Generation for Christmas many years ago and I really wasn't sure I would like it. I loved it and because we travel quite frequently it became such a handy device to pack many books without much bulk.
Fast forward many years and I find myself reading on a Kindle Paperwhite and my iPad. My iPad I use mostly for all those books we pick up from the bundle sales. My Kindle tends to get packed when we're traveling.
My Technology Issues:
As much as I loved my Kindle I found myself not always finishing books I would start. With a variety of books at my fingertips it was too easy to switch to a different book when I lost interest in the current one I was reading. I was developing technology ADD and I didn't like it. I realized I needed to put together a plan to discipline myself in my reading.
I love to plan my reading list for the year and it continues to get added onto as the year goes on but having a goal helps me to stay focused and know which book to move onto next. Having a reading plan and figuring out how to work my technology into it was a help to overcome my undisciplined reading on these new devices.
Listen, I love technology. I am a geek at heart and I enjoy the latest gadgets. There are many benefits I've had from them and especially in the way of Bible Study. I just always want to master them and not have them master me.
The Feel of a Real Book:
As much as my devices could be a helpful tool, there was still something about holding a real book. Turning real pages. Marking notes in the book. Dog earring pages and seeing the progress made by the placement of a bookmark.
I still use my technology in my reading plan but my real books take priority.
What My Reading Plan Looks Like and How I Use Technology With It:
This is not anything profound but it may be a help to you if you struggle with finishing books and sticking to a reading plan. I put what I'm reading and what form I'm reading it in or on into my planner for the week. I do have several books being read at one time. My book of the Bible that I'm currently studying goes into this list too. I may use a commentary or study book in addition to my Bible reading so this goes into my schedule.
As an example, I'm currently studying through the Book of Revelation and I'm using John MacArthur's Commentaries on Revelation along with going through my Bible reading.
1. I have three books that I read with a physical book. Next to each category I gave an example of my current reads so you can get an idea of what it looks like.
– A Spiritual Growth Book – (Knowing God by J.I. Packer – my next read will be a Christian biography)
– A Fictional Classic – (Anne of Green Gables)
2. My iPhone Kindle app has devotional books on it. These are handy to get a good, quick read in if I'm waiting in my car and I don't have a book on hand. (The Quiet Place and At The Throne of Grace are my two on there now).
3. My iPad is where I read my eBooks and most of them are the ones that come from various bundle sales. I use the iBooks app and I have the Kindle app on my iPad but really only use it when we're traveling. Most of my books on here relate to cooking, home keeping, health, herbs, essential oils, time management etc. I store the books in my Dropbox and move them to my iPad when needed. (Simply Dressed and One Bite at a Time are my two reads at the moment).
4. My Kindle Paperwhite I just use for vacation or business travel with my husband. I have quite an extensive Kindle library and utilize free books when they are available or check on book specials. Tim Challies has a good list on his A La Carte posts each week. I make a current reading folder in my Kindle and utilize it to make sure I read the books I want to read when I'm traveling.
How I Make a Weekly Reading Schedule:
The only books I schedule to be read are my real “hold in your hand” books. My iPad, Kindle and iPhone are just for casual reading when I have free moments and want to make the most of that time or I'm looking for a lighter book to read. I only keep downloaded on those devices what I'm currently reading on them.
When I plan out my week on Sunday evenings I add in my reading goals for each of the books I'm currently reading.
1. My Bible study book is read in the morning during my time with the Lord.
2. My fictional classic is read in the afternoon or early evening and usually with cup of tea in hand.
3. My spiritual growth book is read before bed in the evenings.
I may only schedule to read a chapter a day or several chapters depending on how that specific day looks.
How Have I Benefitted From a Reading Plan?
Before I started planning what I was going to read I just randomly choose books and there really is nothing wrong with doing that. I just found myself wanting to be more intentional in how I spent my time and with that making sure I was growing in a knowledge of God's Word.
“Before picking up a book, ask yourself: Would Christ approve of this book? Will it increase my love for the Word of God, help me to conquer sin, offer abiding wisdom, and prepare me for the life to come? Or could I better spend time reading another book? “
There are so many options of books to read and having a plan has helped me to read a variety of authors and set goals as to areas I want to grow in and gain more knowledge.
I have found when I set reading goals I read much more and get through many more books. This is really my greatest benefit. These authors have discipled me in so many areas and it has been a very inexpensive education for me.
I love the internet to search and learn new things but there is still nothing like reading through a whole book on a specific topic to gain knowledge in whatever area you are wanting to learn more about.
If you're a Christian reading this, I pray the book you will make sure you spend priority time studying and learning more about would be your Bible.
I am in a season of life as my children are grown that I have much more time to read. I am going to take advantage of that because it may change quickly. If you have busy days with littles, all the more reason to at least put some thought into what you are feeding your mind. Your time is limited so make sure you are making the most of those moments you get to feed your brain some good food!
Below are some good thoughts from Jim Elliff taken from “Why Read A Good Book?“
When buying books remember the following:
1. Buy only the best books since you will only read a few hundred in your lifetime. When possible seek a recommendation first.
2. Don’t excessively fret over the price, since the cost of a book is always small if it impacts your life for good.
3. Buy to preserve the truth for your family or some deserving friends or institution in the future, for they will inherit your library when you die.
4. Never let the reading of books replace the reading of the Bible. Instead of one or the other, do both.
5. Let a good book humble you and not make you proud, by seeking God in what you read.
How about you? How do you determine what to read? Do you have a reading plan?