This year I want to track exactly what and how much I read. I’d like to have a realistic picture of how much reading can reasonably be done with two children under two years old, for future reference. And perhaps to encourage you, if you were once an avid reader but are now about to have two small children and don’t know if you will ever be able to read at all! It was difficult, finding time, in the beginning months of Little Man’s life. Sleep deprivation does not lend itself to reading much more than light fiction, and that’s if you can stay awake long enough to read it. I did read a lot of good articles and blog posts, though, so it worked out.
I’ve decided on the 2018 Christian Reading Challenge from Tim Challies. It has four categories, starting with The Light Reader at 13 books, and ending with The Obsessed Reader at 104 books. Back in my single days, I could easily have done the latter. These days The Light Reader is much more my pace. I’m starting with here and will move up to the next category once I’ve hit read the first 13 books. I’m not certain that I will have the time to move past the second category (26 books) this year. We shall see!
The reason I chose this particular challenge (rather than just tracking what I read) is that each book in this challenge is supposed to come from a different area. This provides structure to my normally willy-nilly reading choices.
Here are the thirteen areas/genres for The Light Reader (if you want to participate in the challenge, I highly recommend downloading the list🙂
- A biography
- A book about Christian living
- A book published in 2018
- A book by an author who is no longer alive
- A novel
- A book for teens or young adults
- A book more than 100 years old
- A book targeted at the opposite gender
- A book your best friend recommends
- A book with at least 400 pages
- A book of your choice
- A book about theology
- A book about current events
I plan to choose first from the books on our shelves, then the library, then look to Amazon or Thriftbooks. It would be quite nice to make it through the year having read through a good amount of the books already on our shelves. I have a book wish list well over fifty books long – perhaps this will help me more carefully choose what to purchase next. We just cleaned out our bookshelves the first week of this year, but that didn’t leave any space for new books, still!
These are the books that I’ve chosen. I reserve the right to change my mind or to swap a book that I just can’t get through for a more interesting one.
- Her Way: The Remarkable Story of Hephzibah Jenkins Townsend (this was a Christmas gift last year that I need to read.)
- Humble Roots – finish this one, not much left, and then Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family
- Joyfully Spreading the Word: Sharing the Good News of Jesus (June 30, 2018)
- Let Me Be a Woman or Discipline: The Glad Surrender – it is so sad that Elisabeth Elliot’s books apply to this category!
- Crime & Punishment – it’s on our bookshelf and I doubt that I would try to read it if not for this challenge.
- The Sword of Shannarah from the Original Shananarah Trilogy: this is a series that Brian and I are reading together. It’s in the same vein as Lord of the Rings.
- Mansfield Park
- Wild at Heart – Brian has requested that I read this book
- To be determined
- The Flames of Rome – 456 pages. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads: “Following the family of Flavius Sabinus, mayor of Rome under Nero Maier captures all the drama and tension of the political conflicts that precede and follow the Great Fire of Rome, and the epic political and religious clashes of the world’s capital. This is the sensational story of pagans at their worst—and Christians at their best.”
- Hannah Coulter: A Novel – several blogs I started reading in 2017 mention Wendell Berry frequently. My library has this one and some poetry of his. I thought I’d try out the novel first.
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticisim – Brian got this for Christmas, but I’m borrowing/stealing it to read first. Similar C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.
- In the Country We Love: My Family Divided or We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled – I’m using my library to find a book in this category. Both of these look interesting.