I love to read.  As a pastor, I find my time reading more non-fiction, but I love to escape into a good piece of fiction at times.  In fact, for every 2-3 works of non-fiction I read, I squeeze in a work of fiction.

At times, my friends ask me, “How do you read so much?”  Hopefully, this will help you as you seek to read more books.

1. Schedule a time to read.

Make sure you schedule a time in the week in which you are going to read.  First, schedule the days you will read.  Monday through Friday? Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s? All 7 days?  Schedule it.  Second, schedule how long you want to read each day. I try to squeeze in one hour a day to read.  You may find that to be difficult.  Try 20 minutes a day, then work your way up! Thirdly, schedule when you will read within that day! Will it be when you wake up? During lunch? During break? Before bed? Set aside the time, and do it!

2. Be intentional about what you read.

Time is valuable and there’s nothing I hate more than wasting my time on a book that isn’t worth reading! Be intentional about what you read. As a pastor, I pick between Pastoral leadership, theology, religious biography, and specific fiction when reading.  I am not just picking up a random book.  If it’s something I need to learn or focus on, I pick it up.  If it doesn’t capture me within the first 2 chapters, I set it down.  Be intentional! I tend to read books that are recommended by authors and pastors I respect.

3. Set a goal.

A couple years back, my goal was to read one book a week! I barely made it. I failed at scheduling a daily time to read.  Make your goal reasonable at first! Maybe it’s to read 10 books in a year, or 1 book a month.  Set a goal that is reasonable to reach at first, then after that goal is reached, set a new one.

4. Read without distractions.

Find a time to read where you can set your phone aside, where you have no responsibilities, and where you won’t be distracted.  I tend to read in the mornings while my family is still asleep, but if I can’t in the mornings due to meetings or visits, I’ll make time in the afternoons to read.

Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day.  Keep reading, keep going, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day! It’s possible to read more. Good luck!

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