I have read more than 100 Christian books in a year since 2006. Actually, 100 books. But most people think it’s impossible. And they think I don’t watch TV or spend time with my family. How could you possibly read 100 Christian books without sacrificing time with your family?
I love books but I learned earlier on in my marriage that I will never let a book, no matter how good it is, to come between me and my family. Not only that, I can afford to watch Zootopia, The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory or Star Wars with my kids. And I still find time with my books.
You probably think I have a lot of spare time in my day. That’s not true. I’m a college professor teaching process engineering. And my degree is in environmental toxicology. I teach for 15 hours a week, spend at least 15 hours preparing course material, and 10 hours grading, administrative work, and office hours.
Above all, as you probably know, I enjoy writing. That’s why it hurts me that I might not be able to keep this blog since I failed to raise $191.78 for web hosting. Yes, on February 18, Pew Theology might be gone. But I will not stop writing. You can make a contribution using the PayPal button below.
With my packed schedule people always ask me two questions:
- Where do you find the time for keeping a Christian blog and writing Christian books?
- Where do you find the time for reading 10 books a month, when most people can’t even read 10 books a year?
Let me show you how I read at least 100 Christian books a year.
Why should you read 100 Christian books a year?
You probably agree with Martin Luther, “The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing.” I agree, too. The fever for writing has produced work such as 50 Shades of Grey, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Jesus Calling, The Prayer of Jabez, and The Shack.
I guess that’s why the preacher said:
Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 12:12
Sadly, if you’re like most people, you probably used Ecclesiastes to justify your slackness in reading. But have you ever considered that this verse is not isolated?
This is what the Preacher wrote (Ecclesiastes 12:11), “The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.” And he continued, “The end of the matter; all had been heard.” Then he added the popular quote.
Nowadays, you can find the ‘words of the wise’ in some Christian books. But the words of wisdom are like goads – a stick with sharp end used to guide livestock. And these collected works secure us in Christ’s faithful presence like a nail.
I enjoy experiencing, exploring and expressing theology through good Christian books. As a result, I read books from authors from different theological traditions and with diverse backgrounds. Reading more than 100 books a year helps me grow in Biblical curiosity.
How to read 100 Christian books a year
It takes only 40 minutes a day.
Shocked? Yep, it’s true. Here are the numbers.
An average Christian book has only 40,000 words. Of course, theological textbooks average 100,000 words. But let’s start small, hey. So, if you want to read 100 books, you’re going to read 4,000,000 words. That’s a lot, right?
Not really, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace have around 600,000 words. And most people take 3 weeks to read these volumes. At that rate, it should take you 1 month to read 10 Christian books.
How do you read 100 Christian books a year? Simple, you only need to read 11,000 words a day. That’s a lot, right?
Not really, an average reader reads 320 words a minute. Therefore, you can finish at least 100 books by spending 40 minutes a day reading slowly.
40 minutes a day = 100 books a year
Guess what? The 40 minutes include 6 minutes for reflecting on what you read, praying, or taking notes. You can do this!
Check your reading speed here.
Source: Staples eReader Department
6 smart tips that will make you read 100 books in 2017
Again. It’s not about how many books you read. But experiencing, exploring, and expressing theology in your life. A good Christian book is simply a goad and a nail in the hands of Christ, the Chief Shepherd.
Not all books are equal. They’re some books that are not worth your time. Reading them will only make you grow weary. Yet, some books are gems that you cannot afford to neglect. Joe Thorn’s Life of the Church and Character of the Church come into mind.
Before you can read 100 Christian books you need to know where to find them and what to do with the books. So, then how do you find good Christian books?
1. Avoid your local popular Christian bookstore
It’s sad but it’s true. Bookstores sell books that sell. Don’t blame them; they want to survive. But the cost of survival is sometimes stocking prosperity gospel and heaven tourism books. Trust me, you don’t want to spoil your goal to read 10 books in a year with these books.
2. Be careful of some publishers
When I started reading 100 Christian books a year, I only read from Harrison House, Harvest House, and Destiny Image. Not anymore. God delivered me from the lies of the prosperity gospel and the dangers of neo-Pentecostalism.
3. Avoid books on the same topic by the same publisher
It’s always wise to read books as clusters. But you run the risk of reading similar material thus wasting your time. It happened to me in 2015 while studying preaching. Books by one publisher said the same thing and even shared the same stories. I wasted my time, I should have read Bryan Chapell, after all, they were his students.
4. Be intentionally diverse
In January, I read one New Apostolic Reformation, two theology, two biographies, and two fiction books. And two female, two African, and one Latino author. I wanted to experience and explore theology in different cultures and theological traditions. But this also meant I had to be extra careful.
5. Listening is not cheating
So is throwing away a book after only three chapters or skimming through a book. Again. You don’t have to punish yourself reading a book that clearly ended after the introduction. Sadly, this describes most Christian books. Furthermore, you can sign up for Audible and listen to the books instead.
6. You can start with my book
No, I’m joking. I’m just trying to market my book. After all, I want more people to read it. And I believe it’s a good book. I’m reading it for the fourth time. The book is called The Secret Place, you can buy the Kindle or paperback version on Amazon.
I will repeat.
40 minutes a day = 100 books a year
And if you find the articles I write useful, please do not hesitate to help me pay for web hosting ($191.78). Send anything you can afford to this PayPal account.