Everyone Needs a Reading Space

On Fridays I will be featuring a snapshot of different reading spaces of people at Gracepoint Berkeley church and beyond. We’ll kick it off with a short tour of Jacob’s reading nook. This video was shared with me a couple months ago, so he might have redecorated since then!

Shout out to dad, Kevin, one of the college ministry staff at Klesis Berkeley  for setting this up. Not sure if you caught it, but he said he’s reading a Punchinello book! If you recall, he’s from the Wemmicks series.

jacob loves reading!

That smile says it all!

There’s something to be said for having a favorite reading spot. It doesn’t have to be a big space, it could even be a favorite chair. But situating our reading experiences in an actual place strengthens our positive associations and memories of reading. And it’s awesome to see Jacob starting young!

Come back on Fridays to see others’ reading spaces. Going through my emails, I actually found a few more book nooks people shared with me, even going back more than a year. So I suppose they’ll be throwback posts to book nooks that may or may not still exist. Ooh, the mystery!

How about you? Do you have a reading space or spot? How have your reading spaces changed over the years? Share below!

2019: Reading Resolutions & Turning Over a New Blog

henrietta's 21st

I’m only 23 days late with a Happy New Year to you all in Gracepoint churches in Berkeley and beyond! I cringe to notice that my last post was from June 1 of 2018, though I don’t cringe at the fact that I recommended reading I Can Only Imagine. I stand by my recommendation and will be recommending many more in the weeks to come. As usual, I am backlogged with books I have been telling people they just *have to* read.

For now though, I wanted to write a short post to assure everyone this blog is alive and kicking. I am going to build in some time to write here each day so that I can roll out a post every few days or so.  While Victor Hugo’s daily writing routine was admirable, I’m going to start with a modest 15 minutes a day.  Some of you know that last year, I experienced building a new habit of scripture memory (shout out to ScriptureTyper), and I started with just a few minutes a day, and now I’m up to quite a few verses. So hopefully, I can build up some momentum here, as there are so many great books out there that I want to share with you all!

One more thing — it’s not too late to make a 2019 Reading Goal or Reading Resolution. My goal is to read 168 books:

  • 42 non-fiction
  • 42 children’s/young adult fiction
  • 42 new picture books
  • 42 poetry/fiction (especially the books I’ve been meaning to read since forever…Brothers Karamazov, I’m coming for you! It wins for being on my TBR list the longest — since 1994, before many of you were born!)

What are your 2019 reading goals? Share them in the comments below, and let’s encourage one another to read more books this year!

Defying Reading Statistics!

Yesterday’s Breakpoint Commentary entitled “Be a Bookworm, Not a Goldfish: The Lost Art of Reading a Book” cited new findings from a Pew Research Center study that over 25% of Americans, and a whopping 1 in 3 American men, did not read a book in the past year. The article’s title is a reference to the now-common shockstistic (a word I just made up) that the human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. There’s debate about how true it is that we can no longer sustain thought for 8 seconds at a time, but the bigger point is that reading good books* can help us fight against the effects of our 21st century instant culture on our brains, and more importantly our minds and souls.

Author Eric Metaxas references professor Allan Bloom, author of The Closing of the American Mind:

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency—the belief that the here and now is all there is.

In terms of actual reading of text, Americans have never read more than they do today, with innumerable text messages, emails, tweets, posts, news feeds, and other updates. As Christians, how much more important is it for us to learn how to engage our minds and enter into dialogue with an author about sustained arguments, ideas, or imagined worlds and characters so that we can become more reasonable, thoughtful, attentive students of the Word, and equipped to fight against all that is in the world that that tells us “that the here and now is all there is”!

While Metaxas brings up ideas and arguments that are familiar to us, especially if you’ve been in one of the “Effects of Living in the Internet Age” or “Technology and the Brain” type of workshops we have had, I appreciated reading this commentary and recommitting myself to defying the norm, and fighting for my mind and for my soul!

And as the Gracepoint “book lady,” I’m so happy that we at Gracepoint Berkeley church, as well as our other church plants, are doing what we can to defy these statistics together! It warms my heart when I receive emails from people who say they’ve read more in the last year than they did in all of undergrad. Sadly, just STARTING the Winter Reading Challenge will put you ahead of a good chunk of Americans. Not only are we refusing to be goldfish by being bookworms, I think many of us are on the way to being book dragons. 🙂

How many books did you read in 2016? Remember, more important than the number of books, is growing as a reader! Did you read more than you did in 2015?


 

* You can check out Breakpoint’s Recommended Reading List. It has lots of books that we carry at the store. 🙂