I have always enjoyed reading. As a child and then later as a teenager, I could be found devouring most any work of Christian fiction. I spent hours reading my fair share of the Sugar Creek Gang series, and the Love Comes series by one of my teenage favorite authors Jeanette Oke. There's something to be said for allowing your mind to explore new places and ideas held within the covers of a good book.
As I grew older, the desire to read didn't fade, but the time I had to read did. I would see a book with a cover that intrigued me, purchase the book, take it home, open the cover and smell the pages (don't tell me that you don't do that . . .), read the first chapter or maybe two, and then fall asleep! The book would sit on my nightstand, be dusted every week, and then eventually be put back on the shelf with the other books that had the same fate. So here I was, a shelf of very attractive covers, collecting dust.
A few months ago, something "clicked" inside my brain. I think it was reading this article from blogger Tim Challies that helped the proverbial lightbulb come on over my head. Why did I have to limit myself to just reading? Spring boarding from the tips in the article, I began to look into using audiobooks. I use the audiobooks in a couple of different ways.
- Simply listen. In the car, at the gym, at the park, getting ready for work. . . wherever you have a few minutes, listen.
- Listen (x10). I like to take a section of the book (a few chapters at a time) and listen to it several times. It seems that when I do this, I hear something new every single time.
- Listen (faster). I listen to the audiobook on 1.5 speed.
- Listen and read. This is the method I enjoy the most. I try to get a copy of the book, and then follow along with the reader. I read with a highlighter in hand and notebook nearby. I write in the margins, put favorite quotes on sticky notes.
If you would like to try to Audible, click here. First-time customers will get a free audiobook. If you'd like to try this method, it will give you an opportunity to try it for free (especially if you already own the hard copy of the book).
Since April (when I read the article), I have finished 5 books. Now, to some of you, five books is not much. But for this girl who was falling asleep reading magazine articles, five books is quite the giant leap.
Am I going to win an "I Read the Most Books this Year" contest? No.
Am I getting back to reading? Yes.
Am I growing as a Christ-follower? Yes.
This method is a win in my book!