I love books. I really do. I love having my curiosity piqued upon first hearing about a new book. I love looking it up online and reading the synopsis and review. When I get the chance, I REALLY love going to a bookstore and browsing aisle upon aisle of books. I could get lost for hours in Barnes and Noble. I love gathering up a collection of “maybe’s,” sitting down with a cup of coffee and flipping through the possibilities to find the one (or two) that will make it home with me. I love the endless possibilities that contained within the pages between the covers. When it comes to fiction, I can devour a good story in a matter of hours. When I get engrossed in a good book, forget about it. You won’t see me until I’m finished.
When it comes to non-fiction books, I love the opportunities for growth, learning, expanding, and change. Books are the best and worst that the world has to offer. Within the pages of a good non-fiction book I can learn a new skill, find a new hobby, study a new language, delve deeper into a topic that interests me, or learn more about a person, event, or era that I know little. I can further develop my relationship with God, learn to better handle our family’s finances, study a topic of interest, improve my marriage, become a better mother, develop leadership skills…the possibilities are truly endless and I LOVE it!
So, then, what keeps me from finishing a book? Let me clarify. What keeps me from finishing a non-fiction book? I can read a 900-page novel in a few days, but I can’t seem to make it through a 200-page non-fiction book. What is that? I start reading and then by the 4th or 5th chapter I get bored. I find myself skimming the pages, searching for something to catch my interest. I start to feel like the author is just repeating himself/herself, adding in fluff and redundancy. While some of that may be true, I am certain that I am only short-changing myself by not finishing all the books pictured above (and more). My constant need to be entertained wins out over my desire for education and self-improvement. I am absolutely certain that my problem with not finishing non-fiction books is a very appropriate metaphor for a lot of things in my life and I see the irony in it all.
So, in an effort to meet the challenge head-on and bring forth change in all aspects of my life by simply tackling this one issue I am making a commitment. The books pictured above are all books that I’ve purchased and have read some of. I’ve enjoyed them all, but for whatever reason, I have not finished them. We can add to the list the books that are currently sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be finished – “Wheat Belly,” “Start With Why,” and “Atlas Shrugged.” My commitment is this: I will not buy (or borrow from the library) another book until all of these are finished. The only exception that I’m allowing is the “One Year Bible.” I will never be done reading that one!