So Many Books, So Little Time

I have this tendency (not sure if I should necessarily call it a bad habit) to read more than one book at a time. Maybe it’s due to a short attention span. Maybe it’s genetic. Who knows. But it’s a lot better than what it used to be. I used to start reading one book only to get drawn into another book of equal interest. Before long, I’d have a bookmark in 4 or 5 books at a time. Eventually I’d finish one, only to replace it with yet another. Unfortunately, some books didn’t get finished and I’m sure there are several on my bookshelf with some piece of paper stuck in a long forgotten chapter, eagerly awaiting the day when it can see daylight. That is, if books can be eager about anything.

I can now proudly say that I am only reading THREE (3) books right now and am making some headway in each of them. It helps that one of them is an audio book that I get to listen to everyday on my way to work. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s my opinion that audio books are one of the best things in the world. I think I average about one unabridged book a month.

So what am I reading? The audio book is John Adams by David G. McCullough. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend. It is perhaps one of the most fascinating biographies I’ve ever read. Not surprisingly, when it was first published in 2001, Publisher’s Weekly called it “one of the fastest-selling nonfiction titles in history,” and publisher Simon & Schuster said that “the demand for the book ‘is the greatest in the history’ of the publisher.” That’s a pretty high compliment considering Simon & Schuster was founded in 1924 and is one of the four largest English language publishers.

I’m also reading John Owen’s The Mortification of Sin with my good friend and pastor, Tim. This has been a very good and very convicting read in the daily battle to “mortify” sin. Owen encourages Christians to “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.” The book has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter and leaving no room for excuses for sin.

The third book – Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nationsis one that I’ll probably be reading for at least another year because I’m working on narrating/recording the entire thing and making it available through Librivox. I’ve finished Book 1 and am about halfway through Book 2.

And of course, every time I go to the library, I find at least 2 more books to add to my reading list. But this is a good thing.

Edit: well, Sarah has reminded me that I’m reading a fourth book – Great Illustrated Classic’s The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’m in the process of recording this one as well for the kiddos to listen to in the car when we go on vacation. Speaking of which, dads, this is something that I would highly recommend doing for your kids. I’m sure they already love to have you read to them and making a recording for them will be a great gift. All you need is a microphone (available at most office supply store) and some recording software, such as the freely available Audacity.


One Response

  1. stephen, i just ran across your blog and must weigh in here. i too am a multiple book reader–i have a BAD tendency to do this myself! also, i read the john adams book a couple of years ago and must add that it was FABULOUS–i also highly recommend it! lastly, i have JUST finished mortification of sin and can came to very similiar conclusions as you stated! i can’t commend this book to others enough!!! happy reading… though i’m not quite sure when you have time for it w/ 4 kiddos! 🙂

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