This week John Starke at The Gospel Coalition Blog ran a series of brief interviews about reading habits. They asked Carl Trueman, Bradley Green, and me to say a few words about what we read, how we pick books, what we’re reading, and so on.
Here’s my key advice:
The most important advice I can give about reading is to make decisions in advance about what you want from the book you’re about to read. You’ve got to stay in charge, and not just let yourself accidentally fall into the reading experience. Before you really engage the book, decide if it’s the kind of book you need to read slowly, repeatedly, taking notes, and pondering. Or is it the kind of book that covers familiar territory and will only offer a few new details? Is it a book you want to immerse yourself in and get lost in, or the kind you want to dip into for bits of information? Or is it a book that you need to figure out so you can put it on your shelf and know how to use it for reference later on? Some books contain analysis and perspectives that are brand new for you, and require slow assimilation. But others just confirm, deepen, or extend things you already know.
Click on over to TGC to read the rest of my remarks, and check out Trueman and Green’s as well.
p.s. About a year ago I did a “top ten theology books” list at First Things’ Evangel blog, just in case you want to do more reading about reading.