Why Do You Read?

I’ve been trying to get into the habit of questioning what I do. I don’t want to mindlessly do what I’ve always done because I’ve always done it. It’s hard. It takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes it makes me realize that I should give something up. But I think it helps me to live my life more intentionally and to honor God more fully. Do you care to join me in evaluating our habits? Let’s start with a topic that’s close to our hearts: Reading.

Why do you read?

Are your reading habits about entertaining yourself? Honoring God? Serving others?

What is a God-honoring reading habit (or restraint thereof) that you would seek to develop?

Do you think there’s value in evaluating our habits so closely? Why or why not?


Here’s a chance to get to know me and your fellow readers. Here’s a chance for us to get to know you.


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Analyzing our own habits and motives can be intimidating. I believe it’s worth it. Do you?
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5 thoughts on “Why Do You Read?

  1. I’m in the middle of transitioning right now. I used to read for myself alone – because I liked it (it’s painfully easy to answer). From now on, I want to read to expand and develop my understanding of (1)this world (including what’s right and what’s wrong, as well as how people think, act and interact) and (2)how I can better live to honor God in everything. Reading allows us to experience entire new sets of circumstances (I think that’s why many people enjoy reading – it allows us to take a break from our own life). I think that – if I read with an active, alert mind – I can learn from the characters’ mistakes and successes. -I’m not sure if this entirely makes sense, and I’m just in the beginning stages of adopting this attitude and applying it. Feel free to test it, challenge it or expand upon it.

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  2. I think I would be exactly the same as you, Jordy! I wouldn’t use it quite as much for learning about this world other than school, but I definitely would agree that I would use it for how I can better live to honor God. And you hit it right on: “Reading allows us to experience entire new sets of circumstances (I think that’s why many people enjoy reading – it allows us to take a break from our own life).” For sure! I think we should read books though that for the most part impact our lives and show us how in our own life we can honor God more! Also not letting reading takeaway from more important things though. For example, right now I’m reading a fiction book that I don’t really think will impact me much, but that I really wanted to read. I’m trying to remind myself to not read that book before I’ve spent time with siblings, done my chores, etc and so it’s not taking away from more important things. I usually will try to read more impactful books, but I think it’s okay to read a non-impactful one once in a while as long as you’re careful that it’s not taking away from things you should be doing. But then that pretty much goes for any book! 😉 What do you think?

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    1. As I read back over your comment, I tried to think about what an “impactful book” will accomplish. (As of late, I’m a bit obsessed with learning how I can develop God-honoring reading habits and what makes a book “impactful”) You said that it will “show us how in our own life we can honor God more”. I agree! Building on that, I think it will reinforce biblical standards of what is right and what is wrong (ie. A book that glorifies sorcery is perilous, while a book that exposes it as evil is “impactful” and edifying). What else do you think an impactful book will accomplish?

      Also, I appreciate your thoughts on prioritizing! As book enthusiasts, I think it’s particularly important for us to remind each other and ourselves that reading is not priority #1. We have responsibilities to our family, jobs around the house, school commitments, etc. And not matter how good a suspense or historical (or other) novel may be, it can’t replace God’s Word. It can’t replace talking and spending time with Him. Thank you, my friend.

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  3. Yes, I would agree! Definitely books that condemn evil are better…I think I personally think that we should be careful reading books with a lot of violence or killing even if it condemns it as bad because it just fills our mind with things that aren’t good even if it strongly says they’re wrong. I love the verse in the Bible that says “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure…thing about such things” I think that what we read fills often what we think about. I find that if I’m reading a lot of books with romance I just tend to be more discontent with my status as single or I just think on that topic more. I think that if we’re reading books with a ton of violence and evil (or romance) it will fill our thoughts with thing’s that aren’t pure and noble. What do you think? So I guess another thing that an impactful book should do is point your thoughts in the right direction…maybe? =)

    Yes, you said it perfect! Books should never be our #1 priority and should never take the place of God’s word either. Thank you for your thoughts too, friend! ❤

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    1. Oh Hannah, I just realized that I never replied to you! I’m sorry!

      I agree that what we read tends to fill our minds. Your thoughts about violence made me think of a book that I read and reviewed earlier this year: Monster by Frank Peretti. It had more violence in it than what I usually read and was a little disturbing at times. But for me personally, I find romance fiction more destructive (as in I tend to dwell on it more, afterward).

      Along those lines, I wonder if the standards are, to an extent, different from one person to another. I mean, there’s a point where wrong is wrong, and the content in a book is universally destructive. But I wonder if, on top of that, the temptations or hindrances differ from person to person. I know that I would read a violent book before I would read a romance novel, even though romance isn’t wrong in the right context. It’s just such a weakness for me! My sister loves a certain series of pure, Christian romance novels. I read the first one, then decided against reading any others. Even though it was pure, it made me discontent with my own life. The effect was far deeper on me than the violence in Monster. (Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t encourage violence in books!)

      I take it that violence is more of an issue for you than romance?

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