Saturday, 27 December 2008

No time to read?

From Brothers We are not Professionals, some encouragement to read from John Piper:

We think we don’t have time to read. We despair of reading anything spiritually rich and substantial because life seems to be lived in snatches. One of the most helpful discoveries I made is how much can be read in disciplined blocks of twenty minutes a day. Suppose that you read slowly, say about 250 words a minute (as I do). This means that in twenty minutes you can read about five thousand words. An average book has about 400 words to a page. So you could read about twelve and a half pages in twenty minutes. Suppose you discipline yourself to read a certain author or topic twenty minutes a day, six days a week, for a year. That would be 312 times 12.5 pages for a total of 3,900 pages. Assume that an average book is 250 pages long. This means you could read 15 books like that in one year. Or take a longer classic like John Calvin Institutes (fifteen hundred pages). At twenty minutes a day and 250 words a minute and six days a week, you could finish it in 25 weeks. Then Augustine’s The City of God and B.B. Warfield’s Inspiration and Authority of the Bible could be finished before year’s end. This astonishing discovery freed me from the paralysis of not starting great, mind-shaping, heart-enriching books because I lacked enough big blocks of time. It turns out that I don’t need long periods of time in order to read three masterpieces in one year! I needed twenty minutes a day, six days a week.

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