Over the last two years, I’ve been working to keep my reading diet pretty balanced. Because I spent a long time reading almost exclusively books by and for Christians—at least for my major reading—and I work in Christian publishing, this is pretty important to me. Reading lots of different kinds of books, whether written by Christians or not, lets me engage with different ideas and hopefully helps me to be a better writer and thinker.
I’m continuing to think about my reading in this regard over 2018. I want to be balanced, reading books from a few different broad categories that:
- are good for my soul;
- entertain me;
- assist me in developing as a writer, marketer, and leader.
Books to feed me
I had plans to read Francis Schaeffer’s works in 2017, but I didn’t prioritize this well.[1. My copies also didn’t arrive until March, so that didn’t help, either.] My goal this year is to dig into these titles (via Crossway’s collection). Similarly, there are a few books by R.C. Sproul that I want to revisit in 2018, especially The Holiness of God and (I hope) Everyone’s a Theologian. I’d also welcome some recommendations for books you all think I should read but haven’t yet (to your or my knowledge).
Books to entertain me
I’ve got some Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and C.S. Lewis queued up (The Graveyard Book, The Final Solution, and The Space Trilogy, respectively). I would love to dig into some great Marvel, Image, or indie series, as I’ve been doing a ton of DC reading of late. When I get my hands on a Doomsday Clock and Metal collection, though… I’m also hoping to read a few pop memoirs throughout the year, including something on The Clash or The Ramones. And I may be going back to a couple of classics I’ve not touched in a long time, specifically Homer’s epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Books to develop me
There are a few areas in which I want to develop professionally, primarily as a leader and a marketer. To this end, I want to prioritize a few different books that are actually helpful. In 2017, two of the most helpful leadership books I read were Leading Change, The First 90 Days, and Decisive, but I know there have been elements of many books that have been worthwhile. One book I’m starting now is Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders (a re-read in fact), but there are others that will be coming. On the marketing side, I want to be reading more balanced books on the relationship between digital and traditional marketing approaches, as well as digging deeper into the technical side (data driven approaches) that I don’t usually gravitate toward. I’m looking for books on these topics, so if you’ve read something helpful, let me know.
That’s the goal this year. To keep reading well and widely, while developing in the disciplines I engage with every day. Lord willing, it’ll be a great year of books!