Balancing the Books

Ray Bradbury once said, “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading pexels-photo-228799them.” The statistics are overwhelming – most people do not read another book once they complete their terminal degree! That could be high school, college, or graduate school – and that’s a shame.

The adage “Leaders are readers and readers are leaders” is true in my own experience. Perhaps you’ve discovered something similar? If you are going to lead, you’re going to read. If you’re going to read, you might as well establish a balanced reading plan. Learn to balance the books!

As we begin a brand new year, I’d like to encourage you to make this the year you officially formulate a plan for your reading.  Any plan is better than no plan. Here are several categories of books that can make you a more balanced reader if you choose a book from each category and plan your reading for 2017:

  1. Classic – These are often books you were required to read in high school and college. Revisit them. I recently read The Old Man and the Sea and was delighted by Ernest Hemingway’s style of writing and his attention to the details of the story that made it come alive.
  2. Christian – Many of us will read through the Bible this year, but don’t stop there! Christian authors address all kinds of topics and can help you see the world through a Christian worldview lens.
  3. Contemporary – Just like the name implies, books in this category are written because of the times in which we live. This category and category 4 below often spill over.
  4. Controversial – Too many of us read authors with whom we agree. Try reading a book about a controversial subject – abortion, politics, etc., – and see if this doesn’t help you gain an understanding of the other guy’s point of view.
  5. Creative – Choose a book in this category to help you develop a hobby or skill – let loose your inner creative! I just began doing woodworking, so I’m in the mood to read a book or two that will help me discover how to quickly improve my creative skills.

To help jumpstart your thinking about reading lists, I’ve compiled a few lists from organizations you know already. While you’re at it, visit places like Carnegie Mellon and see the kinds of books the professors are requiring students to read these days – and then go buy a book from the list!

Here in no particular order are lists of “must read” books for 2017:

10 books on leadership to read in 2017 (Forbes’ list)

The books you need to read to be well-rounded  (Amazon’s list)

10 business books every entrepreneur should read (Forbes’ list)

The books most likely to shape evangelical thought, life, and culture (Christianity Today’s list)


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