Mark’s brand new book

HURT ROAD

Now available for pre-order.

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Hurt Road is the story of Mark Lee’s dreams and successes, losses and heartaches, and all the miles in between. The guitarist of Third Day is no stranger to heartache and hopes deferred; the road to success is never traveled without missteps along the way. This is the engaging true story of a teenager who found in music a refuge from the uncertainties of life and then set out to discover a better way to live than constantly struggling to make sure life turned out the way he planned it…READ MORE

About Mark

Mark Lee is a founding member and guitarist for the award-winning Christian rock band Third Day, with thirteen albums and total sales  approaching eight million. An accomplished songwriter (“Sky Falls Down,” “Alien,” “Show Me Your Glory,” and more), Lee has also  written for CCM Magazine, Guideposts for Teens, and others. While balancing touring with life as a husband and father, he earned his BA in Christian studies from Grand Canyon University.He lives with his family outside Atlanta, Georgia.

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I just published “How to Read More Books” https://t.co/YdbyKkLMxO

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HOW TO READ MORE

When I was a kid, I could tear through some books. Our local library sponsored a Summer Reading Club. Every year, if I wasn’t at the pool, I would beat the heat by sitting in front of a box fan in my room, plowing through book after book. One year I read 79 books. My brother, not to be outdone, read 100.

I have absolutely no point of reference for that kind of reading now.

Every year I keep up with how many books I read, and every year it feels like less and less. Research data shows that I’m not alone. A recent study said that only 72 percent of Americans read a book in 2015, and that was giving people a lot of grace. Technically, they only had to have read part of a book to get credit in this study.

If you’re like me, you really want to read more than you do, but you’re so easily distracted by all of your responsibilities. And so many other things compete for our attention. Television, movies, sports, video games, not to mention the ridiculous amounts of time we spend checking to see how likes we got for drinking that unicorn drink at Starbucks last weekend.

This year I dove in to reading with a new year’s resolution and a new resolve. And I think I’ve actually landed on a few good ideas. If you want to incorporate more reading into your life, then read on (wow, that was bad):

1) Set a reading goal: At the beginning of this year, I set out to read a book a week. I haven’t exactly kept that pace, but I’m only a book or two behind. If I keep it up I will end up reading more this year than any of the last 15 years. A book a week might not work for you. There’s a certain kind of book that fits into that timeframe, and you might want to read something longer. Or you might be OK with reading a book a month. But whatever it is, set a goal and try to stick to it.

2)Try to read only one book at the time: This has probably made the biggest difference for me. It used to be that I was always reading about 6 books at a time, and I was lucky if I finished any of them. Now, I focus on one book. When I’m done with that, I’ll read another.

3) Get off the FaceChat: I’m not necessarily saying give up social media cold turkey, but we all could probably stand to spend a little less time on internet rabbit trails. Even 15 minutes less Facechatting a day could lead to a few pages read. And a few pages every day add up.

4) Get a reading app on your phone: For the last couple of years, I’ve done about half my reading in Scribd. You pay about 8 or 9 bucks a month, and get access to a huge collection of ebooks. Kindle and Nook also make great iPhone apps. You always have your phone with you, so you can now use those little gaps in your schedule to cram in a little reading.

5) Listen to audiobooks: I haven’t done this as much as I probably should. I usually listen to music or podcasts (or silence!) while driving. This time could just as easily be spent listening to books. An app like Audible would be great for this. Scribd also provides access to a decent number of audiobooks.

6) Get a library card: I know I said to try to focus on one book at the time, but there is something inspiring about immersing yourself in books. I went to the library with my kids the other day and came home with 7 books. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to all of them, but I’ll certainly try!

7) Put down books that aren’t doing it for you: I REALLY struggle with this one. I will get a hundred pages into a book and get kind of bogged down in it. It turns into a chore. But I won’t start another book until I finish this one. Before I know it, I have fallen off the reading wagon again.

What about you? Do you have any tips for reading more books? Let me know in the comments!
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