Saturday, January 6, 2018

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles William Eliot

Even before the calendar turned to a bright and shiny-with-possibility new year, the lists started coming: the best books of 2017 and must-reads for 2018. I’ve never been one to set reading goals, but I have taken pleasure in looking back at the list of books I read over the course of a year, much like reminiscing about time spent with old friends.

Looking forward, I’ve got countless samples on my Kindle that serve as reminders of books that caught my attention at one point. It’s a living and changing list; every so often I cull it, and fresh samples take the place of those I haven’t gotten to.

Also on my Kindle are a handful of non-fiction titles I’ve been reading and rereading. With intention, I am going to do more of that—reread, go deeper, and get more out of the titles I choose. I’m going to remember to toss my Kindle in my bag when I’m heading out for an appointment and, instead of fiddling with my phone while I wait, read.

I believe I’m allowing my brain to be altered by online scrolling—we all are. I’m allowing myself to become lazy as I browse headlines and scan stories and status updates, rather than disciplining myself to go for quality over quantity. I am going to be intentional about not allowing that change to continue this year.

No, I’m not shutting down my social media, unsubscribing to all the blogs in my Feedly, and deleting links on my iPad to websites I regularly visit. What I am going to do is be intentional about how—and how often—I interact with those spaces.

My reading goal for 2018 is pretty simple: less scrolling, more reading.

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Today, still killing my darlings in that piece of creative non-fiction I’m working on.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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