All of my books have my name in them. They are like members of the family (just ask my wife!). In part, I put my name in the flyleaf of my books because I enjoy sharing them with others, but I always want to get them back. To share a good book is to invest in the life of another. When I am with friends one of my first questions is: “What have you read recently that is good?”
There is no book like the Bible. It is God’s Book and unparalleled by anything man has to write. Yet those who study the Bible will tell you that one of the best things you can do for your mind and your inner man is to cultivate the habit of reading. Even the Apostle Paul nearing the end of his life was careful to ask Timothy to “bring the books” (2 Timothy 4:13).
I have written a few thoughts on books and reading in a previous post. My goal in this article is simply to challenge you to read. Begin. Start a new book and read a little every day. Even ten minutes carved out of the day for reading a good book is a powerful influence in a person’s life.
Reading leads to reflection and this is the secret of thoughtful men. Edmund Burke wrote, “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Reading is more than a healthy pastime; it is a way of “priming the pump” that so often runs dry. It awakens the mind and stirs the heart.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking with a fine single adult man. He is growing and working hard to become the person God wants him to be. He is hungry to make a difference with his life. Like most busy people he confessed to me that he does very little reading. We have all been there at some time. It was a joy to share with him how reading great books had changed my life. Before we left one another I passed along a good book for him to read. (Yes, it had my name in it.) You don’t have to build a huge library. Find one book. Ask someone you trust for a recommendation and begin there.
J.C. Penney gave these thoughts on the discipline of reading:
The reading of good books is one of the most helpful ways in which young people can develop themselves. One of the saddest mistakes I made in years gone by was utter neglect of reading. I realize now what I have missed by not having read and studied more.
Young men and women who are seeking to learn all they can, have minds capable of receiving and retaining new impressions. There is nothing that will strengthen the mind, broaden the vision, enrich the soul, like the reading of good books. One can find or make no better friend than a good book.
Go make a friend today. Find a good book to read.
By the way, the above excerpt is from a volume compiled by Charles E. Jones, The Books You Read. I heartily recommend it. Perhaps in the future I will recommend a few more books that have made an impact on me. Until then, my recommendation is simply this: start. Today. You will always be glad you did.