Summer Reading Goals

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today, except for the people you meet and [what] you read.” – attributed to Charles Jones

Though a bit simplistic, this quote holds a great deal of truth. The books, blogs, and articles we read have great influence in shaping our character and encouraging (or discouraging) our walk with Christ.

In his article On the Reading of Old Books, C.S. Lewis claims that our reading diet should contain at the very least “one old [book] to every three new ones.”

Why? Not because “there is any magic about the past,” but because “every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes.”

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One of the amusing things about studying history is watching the errors of one generation be disdainfully rejected by the following, only to be replaced by new ones. The trouble is, while you’re living and immersed in an era, it is nearly impossible to fully see the flaws that will be so obvious to future generations.

Fifty years from now, I’m sure history students will laugh at the blatantly-wrong assumptions our generation has made. Reading books from previous generations helps correct (at least a little) for these blind spots.

Taking the principle a bit farther, this summer I also want to read books written by Christians from other cultures and other denominations. It is so easy to get stuck in the white, middle-class, Western mindset and forget that Christ has called us to be part of His universal church. Stepping out of my reading comfort-zone points me back to the basics of what Christianity is about.

Of course, all books must be proved by the Bible. If even Paul the Apostle told us to “test” what he wrote, how much more do we need to test the writing of other authors!

With that said, my first goal is to finish reading through the Bible. I planned to finish in December but got way behind.

Other summer reading (Compiled in part from wonderful suggestions you gave on my Facebook page!):

Chapter book read-a-louds ( now that reading aloud to the kids is part of my lunch routine we’re doing it consistently. So fun!)
This is an ambitious least (at least for me) but I’m working time to read into my schedule and really hope to get through it.
What about you? What’s on your bookshelf for the summer? 
[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]
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  1. says

    I love that you are reading to your kiddos! I have so many wonderful memories of being read to by my mom. I don’t even know when she started reading to us, but it used to be a highlight of the day. 🙂

    Ha! You want a list of the books I want to read? I’ve got way to many to list here. 🙂 That’s what happens when you live in a house with over 5,000 books. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. 😀 But it does make it difficult at times to decide which to read next. I’m not the kind of person who does well having multiple books started at the same time.
    Have fun reading this summer!

    • anna says

      Those sound great. I’m looking forward to “The Power of a Praying Wife.” I’ve heard about it from so many women I respect!

  2. says

    I remember reading “I dared to call Him Father” way back, when I was about 12 years old – it’s such a beautiful testimony. I am currently reading “The Power of a Praying Wife” (Paperback) and “A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope on my Kindle for PC app. Oh and also the Proverbs 31 free ebook offered by Women Living Well (PDF). That’s about it, for now :).

    • anna says

      Oh fun! I’ve heard a lot about “The Power of Praying Wife” and am looking forward to reading it. It’ll be fun to know you are too.

      I just finished “I Dared to Call Him Father” today (I started my reading list earlier this week and that book was hard to put down!) What an incredibly inspiring story!

  3. Danielle Cooper says

    We are reading the Little House Series as a family and LOVING it!! Were almost finished “By The Banks of Plum Creek” I guess we are slow readers. With a four year old and 18 month Old it’s lucky if we get through a chapter a day :-/. I also love the “Power Of A Positive Mom” by Karol Ladd. Also “the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families”

    • anna says

      How fun! We’re pretty slow too—this list is really ambitious but I’m hoping with lots of car time during our move we can get through a lot of reading.

      We’ll see how it goes, but “If you aim at nothing…”

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