I do a decent amount of reading as a part of my work being a missionary and ministry apprentice. There’s a certain joy in knowing that reading is a part of my vocation but it does lead to reading feeling like work.

I’ve been actively trying to combat that feeling by doing a couple of things:

1. Read what I want, not what I should

There are always lists of “important” books or books that should be read. The thing is, I read enough of those for work. I’m learning again that it’s okay to be entertained by a reading, it doesn’t have to be a challenge.

The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

2. If it’s boring, stop

I’ve also stopped forcing myself to finish a book. Tracy and I will occasionally start a series on Netflix or something and decide not to finish it. There’s no contract between me and an author that says that once I’ve made it a chapter or two in, I have to finish the book.

When I tried reading the second Pendragon novel by Stephen Lawhead, I just had to stop. It was a terrible time and I spent way too long trying to let the story happen. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough story there to justify the word count. Sometimes, an author can still make it work, but that book is not an example of it.

And so that’s how I’ve been reading. I’ve been finding books that sound interesting and stopping them if they’re not. I finished reading the first Shadow and Bone book and have just started The Wild Places.