I used to have more posts about reading, and today my post is about goodreads. Do you utilize goodreads? I don’t extensively use goodreads, but for several years now, I do try to record the majority of books I read each year on their site. I also record the books I read in a notebook – ya know, paper, and I use a pen!
I typically read 40 – 60 books a year. This is another low year, as I’ve only read 36, although 37 and 38 are in progress. I only read tangible books. No e-reader.
I think the feature I most appreciate about goodreads is having a “bookshelf” of “want to read” books. In the past, when I came across a book that looked interesting, I’d jot it on a scrap of paper or just mentally note it, and that was not effective. I’d forget or lose the scrap of paper! Goodreads is a great place to learn about books, as you connect with other like-minded readers.
There are other interesting goodreads features. One I recently discovered is that you can see your most read authors. Of course, that is only as accurate as the number of books you have entered in their system. But here are some of my most read authors: Philip Yancey, JI Packer, John Stott, Richard Foster, James Herriot, NT Wright, Huston Smith, John Owen, Os Guinness, Darrell Bock, Jerry Bridges, Sir Robert Anderson, Francis Chan, LM Montgomery, RC Sproul, Timothy Keller.
This gives you an idea of my reading tastes. Christian non-fiction (about the Bible and theology) is prominent, with random others – like beloved James Herriot, the British veterinarian who wrote multiple stories about his life as a country vet in the early and mid 20th century. Of course, there are many authors of whom I have only read 1 book, so they don’t show up as most read – yet I appreciated them.
Besides Bible/theology, other non-fiction I appreciate is antique travel or exploration stories – such as from the 19th century when the world was a bit smaller and “new” frontiers being explored. I also like non-fiction books about animals or ones that record encounters with nature. I like the history of just about anything. I don’t read much fiction, but I do read classic literature. I’ll go to the library and look for a classic that I did not read in school.
Glancing over my most read authors on goodreads, I just noticed some missing authors. For example, the absence of CS Lewis! I’ve read both the fiction and non-fiction of Lewis. Apparently I read most of his books before I was logging books on goodreads. Only The Screwtape Letters shows up as a read book.
I consider Bible reading a given, and I do different things in regards to that, and that is not recorded on goodreads. In 2016, I chose to focus on Genesis and Romans, and I read those books twice each. I also read through commentaries on those books. Reading through commentaries is something I want to do more of – as it was so worthwhile. In the past, I used commentaries as a reference source only, and had not considered reading through one. Have you ever read straight through a commentary?
I read through John Stott’s commentary on Romans as I read through Romans, and that was incredibly beneficial. Stott skillfully combines scholarly thoughts with practical or pastoral concerns. When I finished my focus on Genesis and Romans, I read through the Psalms. I was simply in the mood for the Psalms! I just read through Colossians, easy to do with 4 chapters. I plan to read through Colossians several more times, as I prepare to teach an adult Bible study on this book in January and February.
Well, I have reached 600 word so I will end this post. Thanks for reading my rambles about reading. Feel free to comment.
P.S. In case you are not aware, goodreads has lots of book giveaways. Enter to win books that interest you! Recently I’ve seen titles by theologians like NT Wright and RC Sproul.