Wayne: Am I supposed to be a man, am I supposed to say it's okay, I don't mind? [splashes water in his face for tears] I don't mind? Well, I mind! I mind big-time! And you know what the worst part is? I NEVER LEARNED TO READ!Cassandra: Is that true? Wayne: Yes . . . everything except the reading part.
OK, truth is, I can read.
I actually enjoy reading. Let me restate that: I enjoy reading now. Somehow I never warmed to the assigned reading given in school. But since I wrapped up the previous phase of my academic career, I've been perusing volumes at a torrid rate [reading helps your vocabulary . . . reading a thesaurus]. I can wrap up one or two books a week, flying through pages as if it's a race.
But since we've made the move to the city, I've found it difficult to get back into books. I'm not quite sure why, but I can't bring myself to want to finish, or even start, a book. It's not that I've given up reading. I've actually been reading the Bible and Biblical commentaries much more than I ever have, yet I still can't get back into books.
I know I'm going to overcome this eventually, but I'm trying to discover what's at the root of this. Here's what I've discovered. 1) I don't read fiction. I'm not sure if I've ever admitted this here, but I just can't read fiction. I've read about four fictional books in the past five years. If I want to get wrapped up in a story, I'd prefer to rent a movie and get it over in two hours as opposed to multiple days. If I'm going to spend my time reading, I want to get some info out of it than a story. I'm a jerk like that.
2) I read online. I spend at least an hour reading online each day. I read all sorts of things, from news to theological articles to various blogs. I'm still assimilating new information, but it's not in paper form. I guess this makes me a better environmentalist because no trees die so I can read on the internet . . . except the ones I go chop down to get exercise after spending so much time online. 3) I'm listening more. The iPod and high-speed internet have increased the opportunity for my preferred learning avenue. I'm definitely a better aural learner than visual, so listening to various sermons, podcasts and seminars have allowed me a different way to get info. 4) I'm writing more. And not just here on the blog. I've been typing thoughts on various subjects as well as all my sermons. Encouraged by Aaron a few years ago, I began manuscripting my messages and it's been a great habit. Of course, reading helps you become a better writer, so maybe this isn't the best reason. 5) I'm a more selective reader. I really don't think some of the people writing popular books today should be writing. As a minister, I tend to read theological-type literature. Stopped by a Christian bookstore today and the only books I had any interest in purchasing were written by people who have been dead a long time. I struggle reading devotionals because I already have this really cool devotional called, um, the Bible. And almost all those church growth books are crap, so I'd rather not spend the money and be ticked off later.
I'm sure I'll get back into "book learnin'" soon. But, right now, I'm doing fine.