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    How Not to Read with Us

    Reading Principles for the New Year January 1, 2018 Jude St. John
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    Corporis

    I hope you are going to join us in our Corporis Preparatory Reading plan. If that sentence makes no sense to you, read this first: CPR.

    Now that we are all on the same page in regards to what CPR is, again, I hope you plan on reading with us as we prepare for Corporis 2018. If you are, and even if you’re not, I’d like to throw out a few suggestions on how not to read (with or without us).

    These ideas aren’t mine. They are from an excellent article by Jon Bloom who is a staff writer at Desiring God. Here are his suggestions with some comments by me:

    “Do Not Read” Principles for the New Year

    1. Do not not read books. It’s all in the double negative; in other words, read books (as opposed to reading tweets, blogs, Instagram descriptions, articles, etc.). Our aforementioned reading plan includes books if you’re looking for some ideas.
    2. Do not neglect to read The Book. The Bible is the book par excellence. Read it.
    3. Do not read like the phenoms. There are some people who consume incredible quantities of books. Good for them. But it might be best for you to set a realistic goal for your literary consumption and stick to it.
    4. Do not read too fast. Read at a speed which allows you to understand and retain some of the information. It is a given that you will not remember everything you read, but slowing down should help with retention and increasing retention increases the likelihood of application.
    5. Do not read too much. This is not a problem for most. Nevertheless, it’s not a competition.
    6. Sometimes, do not read at all. If a book is like a conversation between you and its author, then it is at best “like” a conversation and is no substitute for speaking with real people. Or going for a walk. Or sitting in silence. Or praying. Or doing a myriad of other things. Take a break from the books.
    7. Do not read to impress others. Don’t read to expand your ego. Read to expand your mind and your heart.
    8. Do not read only in your narrow interests. Get your nose in some pages that make you feel uncomfortable. Even if you end up disagreeing with the author, working through his or her ideas will be helpful.
    9. Do not read boring books — unless you’re required to. Reading is not supposed to masochistic. If you don’t have to read a boring book, maybe pass on it for something more enjoyable.
    10. But do not avoid reading difficult books. As the author of the article suggests, boring is not the same as difficult. Some of my most helpful, and enjoyable, reads have been books that were “above my pay grade.”
    11. Do not read things that make you feel hopeless. Don’t read books that shrivel your mind and deflate your heart.

    In summarizing his article, Jon Bloom writes the following: “What you read will shape you. It will shape not only what you think, but how you think. Your life is short. You can only read a relatively small amount in the time you have. You will have to neglect reading far more than you will ever be able to read. So, resolve this year to increase your skill in how not to read.”

    It would be great if you choose to participate in CPR and use it as a means to “increase your skill in how not to read.” Not only will your reading skills be enhanced, but you will be ready in May for Corporis 2018.

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