Summer and reading seem to go hand and hand don’t they? There’s just something about relaxing with a good book at the beach, beside the pool, or in the shade of a favorite tree with a cool drink close at hand. For me, summer reading is just as enjoyable as curling up with a good book in front of a roaring fire in mid-winter. Polar opposites, I know, but those summer and winter scenarios seem to be my most fruitful reading times.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve spent a few moments here and there thinking about the books that I’d like to read this summer. I wanted to be realistic about the number of books I might be able to read between now and Labor Day, but I wanted to offer myself a bit of a challenge, too.
When it comes to reading, variety is the spice of life! I love to quote the wise words of the late Ruth Bell Graham, who said,
“Read, read, read! Use the Bible as your home base, but vary your diet. I usually have several books going at once, tucked around here and there for easy access.”
It’s important for us to read, as I’ve reminded you before, and I think it’s also wise to read more than one type, or genre, of book. Eating lots of leafy green vegetables is good for you, but eating only vegetables will leave your body depleted of protein and the healthy fats necessary for good health. The same is true of reading! Variety will supply you with all the “nutrients” you need to keep your brain active and to fuel your creativity.
If you’ve not already done so, summer is a good time to establish or change-up your Bible reading routine, too. If you’re not sure where to start, just Google “Bible reading plan” and find something that suits you. I’ve been using Professor Grant Horner’s Plan for a couple of years now, and love it. If that’s way too much, there are plenty of other plans to choose from. Find one that’s right for you and get started!
With your home base of Bible reading established, think about what you might want to read this summer. Don’t be afraid to read something just for the fun of it! Choose enough titles to see you safely through summer, or maybe just a bit beyond, but make sure that those titles represent some variety.
Here are the titles on my summer reading list:
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (a hefty biography)
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (Understanding how the world economy got into such a big mess.)
Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion (Kevin DeYoung has become a favorite author.)
Love Never Fails (Sharing the gospel with your grown children. This one’s on my Kindle.)
The Notebook (for those days when my brain needs a vacation)
The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion (I’ve followed Challies’ blog for years and have had his book on my Kindle for quite awhile. This summer is finally the time to read this book.)
There you go! Seven titles, some hefty, some fluffy, but I’m looking forward to reading each of them over the course of the next three months.
Now it’s your turn! What’s on your summer reading list?