The 100 Book Reading Challenge and How it Has Changed Me

For those of you following along, you know that I took up the challenge to read 100 books this past year.  I made my page number goal and then some but missed my book goal by 18.  Never-the-less I’m confident that I have read more in the past year than I have in any single year prior.

It’s difficult to asses all the changes that attempting such a goal has had on me.  Yet as I reflect on the past year and dream about the future I cannot help but notice that I have changed as a result of becoming a more disciplined reader. I am different than I was a year ago and here is how:

1. I don’t waste as much time (though I still have the ability).  I thought I was busy before and didn’t have enough time to read more, but I found out that by eliminating or reducing a few small pleasures (like late night TV, facebook stalking,  spending time with my wife and children… Ok! I was kidding on that last one.) that I have more time than I thought I did and can spend it in more productive ways like reading.

2. I’m a faster reader now. I didn’t set out to increase the rate at which I read or even comprehend what I read, but as a result of reading more often it just happened. I read faster now and comprehend better than I ever have (but I’m still not a speed reader by any stretch of the imagination).

3. I’m a more discerning reader.  I’ve learned that the quality of the books you read is more important than the quantity of books you read. My goal next year is not to read more books, but to read better books.

4. My Daughter is a better reader. She’s five and she’s advanced from just knowing the sounds that letters make to reading on a first grade level in the past year. (Technically if you count all the books I’ve read to her I’m well over double my 100 book goal.)

5. I’m actively and intentionally encouraging others to read. This past year I volunteered to mentor a couple of kids at our local junior high and have been impressed to see them start reading at and above their grade level. I’m also involved at my daughters elementary school helping her peers learn their sight words.

I’m sure I’ve changed in other ways as well. These are just the 5 that jumped out at me.  I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks about my goals for next year! And I’ve got some big ones.  How about you? What are you thinking about challenging yourself to next year?

 

“The Secret of Indigo Moon” By G. P. Taylor (A Review)

The Secret of Indigo Moon (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) by G. P. Taylor is a fascinating book filled with mystery and intrigue.  The book is designed for children and young adults who don’t read often.  The narrative switches between a regular novel format with plain words on a page and graphic novel format where pages are filled with art depicting the scenes as they unfold.  Over all I was very impressed with the format.  The art work is also top-notch and fascinating in its own right.

I really enjoyed the content of the book.  G. P. Taylor is a master storyteller when it comes to engaging a middle school audience.  The Secret of Indigo Moon is a suspenseful tale of mystery and intrigue  filled with secret passageways, cover-ups, and disguises.  I found myself reading the whole book in one sitting.

I really like The Secret of Indigo Moon and I highly recommend it for middle school students and adults who enjoy such literature.  I especially like the blending of graphic art and novel formats.  I think it will engage a younger audience.  The retail price of The Secret of Indigo Moon is $19.99 (Hardcover), and is available around the web in places like Amazon.com for $13.59. I gave it five stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Tyndale Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Jesus Storybook Bible (Review)

I really like the Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition.  I’ve been reading it to my4 year old daughter on a pretty regular basis.  Most storybook bibles we have come across grossly leave out important details, this one however, remains truer to the text than any I have ever seen while at the same time driving home the story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.  This storybook Bible presents a clear and accurate Biblical theology on a child’s level.

Since our children are younger we’ve started using it for family devotions in the evening before bath and bed.  My daughter loves it and begs for me to read the next story.  We have the deluxe edition which comes with CD’s of David Suchet reading the stories (like in the video’s below).  If you have kids or grand-kids I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  The retail price is $25, but I got mine from amazon.com for $16.49.  I gave it 5 Stars.

Zondervan has put out a few video’s where you can get a glimpse of how the stories read.  I have included them below for your viewing pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”