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With summer on its way, you are probably getting ready to hit the road and take some well deserved time off. Well I'm here to remind you to take a book. Of course, if you're like me, that's not the problem. The problem is knowing what to take! If your summer reading list is cluttered, unbalanced, or (gasp!) nonexistent, I'm here to help. Let me give you a few things to consider when picking books to read this summer.
1. You Don't Have All The Time In The World!
Vacations can be deceiving. You're not just going to be reading by the pool. You will still have chores, work, family, kids, that French cooking class, and other things taking your time. So, be real about your reading time. If all you have is a plane trip and the evenings to read, then pack lightly. If you're going to be riding shotgun across the country, a fully stocked Kindle might do you good.
2. You Want To Read What?
Books take you places. Just make sure they're places you want to go. Are you looking for a good adventure story? Or are you wanting to catch up with your last reading list? Maybe you've been wanting to finally read the Bible cover to cover. It's up to you, just make sure it's what you really want.
3. Read What You Need
Some books needs to be read. But this isn't a bad thing. Some books will help you catch up with what's going on in your industry-leaders are readers right? Or you might want to learn a new skill over the summer (no, not macrame). Make sure it's a book you can learn from, but balance it out with lighter reading.
4. Not Just The Same Old, Same Old
It's easy to stick to the same genres and author's we're used to. Now is the time to break the habit. Pick up a steampunk novel, or a graphic novel. Been a while since you read a good fantasy story? Try some R.R. Martin or Tolkein. There's whole worlds waiting to be discovered. If you give them a chance.
5. Reading Deeply
Finally, I worry that we get shallower and shallower with each passing year. Don't let this happen to you. Find a book that's just a little older, longer, or heavier than you're used to. The classics, along with poetry, history, philosophy and theology books are usually good at this. Read with a friend and discuss. Flex your thinking muscles. You might just find yourself thinking a little deeper about the world, and yourself.
I wish you happy reading and thinking this summer. If you want more in-depth advice, I wrote an article a while back on how I pick a book to read. Take a look here. And let me know in the comments what you plan to read this summer.