I’m not referring to a speed reading technique here. This is not a “how-to-read-a book-a-day” post. No, this is something different. Much different.
I gave up reading for Lent.
In Lauren Winner’s book, “Girl Meets God”, she was challenged to give up her voracious reading habit during the six weeks of Lent. When I read that I gasped. No way. I could never do that. Reading is a huge part of my life. I love reading so much. So very much. So so very very much.
I argued with myself, “Just because Lauren Winner did it, doesn’t mean you have to do it.”
I pouted and whined, “I’m in the middle of a really good book right now. Can I just finished it first?”
I wrung my hands, “How am I ever going to get through all 180 titles on my To Be Read list if I up and quit reading for six weeks?”
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
One year I gave up sugar for Lent, but I admit that I was hoping for a little kick-back in terms of improved health for myself. One year I gave up Oprah – a whole hour of TV watching — and never went back.
If Lent is supposed to be a time to consider the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on my behalf, then I need to give up something that makes me gasp at the thought.
For me, it’s books.
Over the past week and a half, some interesting things have happened. A good friend handed me a book she had just finished and said, “You are going to love this. All the time I was reading it, I thought – this is a Dinah book.” Then, my public library sent me an email– a title I had requested months ago was finally in and waiting for me. I talked to the librarian to see if I could keep it longer than four weeks. But, no. I told her, “I gave up reading for Lent.” She gasped.
Then, another sweet friend gave me an unexpected gift – these magnetic page clips.
That spell R-E-A-D.
I have banned all books but one – The Good Book. I have my bookmark securely placed at chapter 24 of the story I’ll pick back up on Easter Sunday. I’ll put my name on the waiting list at the library once more. Fasting from books for a few weeks isn’t that great of a sacrifice. I will survive. Gasp.
Good luck! I’m not sure I could do it!
Thanks! It’s been an interesting two weeks, but I’m finding it’s not as hard as it first seemed. I have much more margin in my days. That’s not a bad thing!
I can relate to the challenge you are facing! I am an avid reader and I’ve given up reading fiction for Lent. I didn’t think it would feel like such a big sacrifice, but life is stressful right now, and I find I miss the consolation of escaping in a good story. Being stuck in reality is helping me focus on God more.
Taking away that default escape in the form of books is making me more aware of God and the story He’s writing in my life. I hope you find stress relief in His story!