If you follow me on social media then you saw my posts asking for blog suggestions. I confess, as Friday approached (my self imposed deadline that I’m really trying to keep up on), my mind was completely void of any ideas for a post.
Thankfully, I was given some really good suggestions, the first of which was to talk about some of my favorite books.
I Am Not a Reader
My reading habit comes in waves. There are seasons, like right now, where I am knocking out book after book. And there are the other seasons where I get lazy or caught up in a T.V. series and just don’t want to read.
So how does a non-reader find time and motivation to get through books?
- Set a goal. I know, the most predictable blog advice but hear me out. Nothing motivates me more than knowing I need to get something done by a certain time. By using Goodreads I can set my self a yearly reading goal and see my progress. This keeps me encouraged and motivated to keep going. (You can follow my goodreads profile by searching Hannah Willson on Goodreads…I think).
- Hang out with readers. Nothing inspires me to read more than listening to someone talk about reading. I love it when my favorite podcasters do a reading update or book suggestion episode because they usually come around when I’m in a non-reading season and need a push to get back in.
- Don’t be picky about format. I used to not count a book as read until I physically held it in my hand and allowed my eyes to pass over each word. However, these days I don’t always have time for that. I have discovered the beauty of audiobooks and ebooks. Amazon’s Audible and Kindle (you can download the apps for free) are great places to find books in these formats. And if budget is an issue, check and see if your library has an app where you can borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free). But of course, there is nothing like a physical book you can hold and smell. (I’m not the only one who loves the smell of books right?)
- Get suggestions. I am so afraid of starting a book from an author I have never heard of. So unless I hear the author’s name or a specific title suggested from a trusted source, I won’t read it. Again, goodreads is a great place to find book suggestions. You can follow your friends and favorite bloggers or pastors (I’m sure) and see what they are reading and read the reviews they give. Also, podcasts are another great place to look for book suggestions as many shows will interview authors. (Let me know if you’d like to hear about my favorite podcasts.)
My Favorite Books
So now, I would like to give you a list of my top 5 favorite books. I decided to limit this list to non-fiction, christian living books. If you would like to see a list of my favorite fiction books, leave a comment or DM me on Instagram or Facebook.
- Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges. I read this book for our ladies Bible Study last year and I LOVED it (hated it too. Read it and see why). But this book hooked me on the writing of Jerry Bridges. I will read ANYTHING he wrote. The subtitle sums up the book very well —Discovering the Sins We Tolerate. It was written to point out the “little sins” we’ve allowed into our lives and choose to ignore because they aren’t that big of a deal. Bridges argues in the book that they are more of a deal than we want to admit.
- Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges. Of course I included the other Bridges book I’ve read in this list because it was just as good as the previous one. After reading respectable sins, my heart was burdened and guilt ridden. I was discouraged by the reminder that I couldn’t live up to God’s standard, and in this book,Bridges shows how to live by the grace we are given instead of wallowing in spiritual defeat. If you choose to read this book, I highly recommend you do so after reading Respectable Sins. Seriously, it makes this book so much better!
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. Every Christian parent needs to read this book. It is full of wisdom and insight on how to, not just train a child in hopes of making him a good person on the outside, but shepherding his heart toward the Lord. I was inspired and encouraged by this book and need to read it again to pick up some new nuggets.
- Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper. I used to hate biographies as a kid. (I used to avoid non-fiction in general though). And even when I started getting back into reading as an adult. I didn’t want to read biographies. I mean I’d heard so many times the stories of Amy Carmichael and Jim Elliot. But I picked up this book anyway because I wanted to like biographies. And I read about women I hadn’t thought deeply about or even heard of! This eye opening book gives a glimpse into the lives of 5 strong and Godly women who lived faithfully for their God.
- Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. If I had to pick a favorite out of this list, this would be it. I have read this book through 3 times and each time found it practical, funny, and full of hope. The book is short and so are the chapters making it a very easy read. So for the momma who feels alone in the trenches of motherhood, this book is for you.
Bonus Book: What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp. This is one of my current reads and I’m enjoying it. It’s taking my a lot longer to get through than I’d like because there is so much to chew on. Tripp shows that many people come into marriage with expectations that often go unmet. He offers advice on how to deal with unmet expectations in a healthy way and how to use those disappointments as building blocks in your marriage.
Stop Making Excuses
I won’t go into all the benefits of reading. Most likely you know them and are tired of hearing them. But I do want to encourage you to try it. Quit making excuses for why you don’t read. With technology, even those who are hearing or visually impaired can consume books in some way. If budget is an issue, utilize the library. Download an app, hit up garage sales, check out discount book stores, (Thriftbooks is a great online discount bookstore).
Remember, It’s not about seeing how many books you can read at a time or how quickly you know out a reading list. I’m not a big reader. This list of books took me a couple of years to get through, but if I can see the benefit and enjoyment reading can bring, then pretty much anyone can.
If you enjoyed this post an want to hear more about reading or podcasts from me, leave a comment or message me on social media, I’d love to hear from you!