Joanna Penn recently posted a video and article about how she consumes books. I thought it might be a fun exercise to try as well.

How I fell in love with reading

I heard an interview with Seth Godin recently where he talked about books being a reminder of the fun of childhood. I can totally relate. My mom was a school librarian, and one of my favorite memories of being a kid was the excitement I’d have when she’d bring home books for me. Then during the summer we’d do the reading club at the public library and I would sit in front of a box fan and read Danny Dunn books by the armload. Recreating those memories, along with new ones with my girls, are a big motivation for my reading habit.

Another point Godin hit on was that books are an easy package for distributing ideas. You read a book. You love it. You pass it on to someone else.

What I read

My reading these days leans heavily towards nonfiction. Probably 80% of the books I read are nonfiction – they are pretty evenly split between Christian living and business/motivation/marketing books with some memoir thrown in for good measure.

I really wish I read more fiction. Because it is hard to put down a great book, I think I am hesitant to pick them up. I am going to try to get better about this.

How I consume books

At this point in time, my reading is split 50/50 between print and digital. And I read them for different reasons.

The thrill of the find – I read a lot of books in print mainly because I love bookstores. One of my favorite things to do on the road is seek out a crusty old bookshop in a town we’re playing and get lost among the stacks. I usually end up buying a book or two. Last week Nigel and I went to Westsider Records in New York. They have a  large, quirky collection of music biographies. I bought a Pete Seeger book as well as a Johnny Cash biography.

When I’m not on the road, you can often find me at 2nd and Charles, a great used bookstore  near my house. I also love going to Christian bookstores. I take my girls there quite a bit. Sometimes I’ll just ask the workers what books they’re enjoying. I’ve found a lot of great books that way as well.

Ease of reading – The books that aren’t bookstore finds are usually read digitally. This is done in one of two ways.

  1. Kindle Paperwhite – I’ve been reading on the Kindle for several years now. I got a Paperwhite about two years ago, and nothing matches it in terms of total immersion in a book.
  2. Oyster app – If you’ve never heard of it, Oyster is a subscription service for digital books. You pay $9.99/month for unlimited reading. I have their app on my phone, and do about half of my digital reading there. I mostly use Oyster to explore, almost like I would at a library.


My book collection

When Jackie O’Nassis died, I remember her family saying that she was surrounded by her books. That has always been a lovely thought, and I can totally relate. There is something to be said for having books around you like old friends. I could see where it could be viewed as clutter or a distraction to some, but stacks of books do nothing but inspire me.

There is really no rhyme or reason to it. One of these days I’m going to organize my books. But for now I just like this big old pile of inspiration. When I have to look for a book, I’ll often stumble across old gems I’d forgotten about. I love when that happens.


The most important reading of all

Every morning after I drop my kids off at school, I read the Bible. I started using the Life Application Study Bible during my studies at GCU – it’s got just enough commentary to answer immediate questions, but not so much as to be a distraction. I’ve been going through Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods this year and it has proved to be an invaluable tool. When I’m on the road, I have an ESV Bible on my Kindle (good to shake it up and use a different translation) as well as a digital copy of the Warren book.

YOUR TURN: Use the comments below to share how you consume books. Or better yet, do a blog post like this one and link to it!

To go ahead and answer your questions about the pictures:
Yes, that is a humidor – I inherited it from Stephanie’s Uncle Frank. He was one of my favorite people.
Georgia football – I produced a record for Mark Richt’s son David a couple years ago. I display it with pride!
Georgia Tech football – Stephanie got me that Paul Johnson football at a silent auction
Football on the left – autographed by Falcon legend Steve Bartkowski
Football on the right – signed by the cast of Facing the Giants
yellow hat – that is called a Rat Hat, worn by freshman in the Georgia Tech Marching Band
NASCAR helmet – signed by Carl Edwards

guitar – 1964 Gibson J 50. I bought it about ten years ago, and have used it on just about every record since

gold things – those would be Dove Awards 🙂