Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Choosing A List of Twelve Books

It is evening here and I just finished brushing my teeth (hope that's not too much information), but there I was minding my own business, as it were, when a wild out-of-the-blue thought careens through...

Which actually sprang from an earlier thought of how I tend to read so many books that it's sometimes difficult to keep the details and facts straight in my mind about who said what and when -- especially when I'm trying to convey this great story to someone else. Rarely had such problem in the past, but maybe there is just too much information I'm trying to stuff in there without giving thoughts room to breathe or time to settle in and get comfy before I shift my eyes to the next book.

So here comes that out-of-the-blue thought... about reading less, and giving myself more time to really focus on one book or one author or one topic at a time. So that I could pay attention to what I'm reading and really think through the ideas, stories and themes presented. Either letting them become a part of my DNA with those 'aha' moments...or...recognizing that no, that's not for me and gently discarding it.

What if, for whatever reason, I was only allowed to take twelve books into the next year, which ones  would I carefully choose to pack for my journey? Knowing that these twelve books would have to carry me through 365 days -- and nights -- of entertaining, informing, teaching, encouraging and inspiring me. I can feel you shaking your head.... believe me, so am I.  Surely that isn't possible!  Only 12 books in a year?  That's one book every 30-31 days!

But just think about it -- it could be a perfect opportunity to slow down, to really take time to hear what the author is saying, to let it change our hearts or clarify our thinking. Maybe it would reveal something about ourselves we've never noticed before. Or maybe we'd start to hear the nightingale that lives in our heart and we'd realize we've been feeding it monkey food and we need to start feeding it proper nightingale food. 

With my toothbrush back on the holder (I must have put it back, I'm not holding it anymore), I flew to my desk, as I could feel a posting bubbling up.

So here it is... plus the faltering start to my list. Hmm... is the Bible considered one book, or would I have to choose a particular book within it?  Oh dear.  If I can't take the whole thing, then maybe the Books of Psalms for encouragement and comfort, the Book of Proverbs for wisdom, and the four Gospels (to set my eyes on the life and ministry of Jesus since He's the perfect image of how I want to live my life).

Definitely some pencil chewing, tap-tap-tap, screwing up my eyes to think better, gazing out the window where the sun has long since set.

So, as I think further on this and start to listen to what's in my heart, what would you begin adding to your list of twelve? That is, if you can imagine such a thing and if you'd be willing to ponder such a challenge.  How hard would that be for you to choose just twelve?

I look forward to hearing from you!

 Photo source:  Lilac and Lavender



  1. You're going to read your own book? ☺ I like your idea. It sounds like a good plan, though I'd amend it for myself to the Bible PLUS a book a month or I might not worry about rules and read whatever I'm intrigued by. If you're willing to let the book go, and life is too short to read dull books, does that mean you can move directly on to the next book on your list?

  2. Well I am still thinking about that one--such an interesting idea to ponder! Definitely my Bible though. Thank you for visiting me yesterday--isn't it fun when you see something out somewhere, like a quilt, and you get all inspired? That happens to me all the time. Crafty hugs!

  3. well, the Bible, Book of Mormon and other religious books, histories of my ancestors and self improvement books. I rarely read for entertainment...

  4. Hey... there are no rules..... just thin'ning out loud if such a short book list were even possible to stick to....

    Vee, if I had 'my' own book, maybe I would read it! LOL!

    Lovely to hear from you Sandy and Lin about your own list possibilities.

  5. This has me putting my thinking cap on and pondering the bookshelves. I'd have the Bible as just one book. Others to add would be Walking on Water by L'Engle, Poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, Winter Solstice by Pilcher (for winter), Frenchman's Creek by DuMaurier (for summer), Gaudy Night by Sayer for a mystery, Europe in the Middle Ages (for studying), and definitely something I've not yet read and which could either enchant or disappoint. Fun thought, Brenda!

  6. I think I would count the Bible as one that gives you a few more spaces to fill!
    Definitely 'The Little white Horse' by Elizabeth Goudge.
    Now I have to have a think!

  7. I would not count the Bible at all because I want to read it while I read other books. Perhaps I'd choose six new ones and six that I love. I am constantly reading my favorite books. I know where all of the good parts are, but I read right through anyway. Why do I do that?

    Somewhere in there, I would have do do a few Narnia books. I actually have slowed way down and have only read about a book or two a month lately. So I guess I'm ready for the challenge.

  8. have me pondering tonight, Brenda. :D

    I hope that I can choose the Bible as one book, so that I might have eleven more. I think that I may choose a Jamie Langston Turner book and a Lynn Austin book (Hopefully these will be ones that I have not yet read.) Then I will peruse my shelf for classics that I have never read (too many!). I will probably reach for Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot. And my book of poems by Amy Carmichael, Mountain Breezes. May I change my mind mid-year?

    I do think that there is merit in reading more slowly, allowing time to digest what one is reading.

  9. Oh, I'm just not sure I could do it! Maybe if I counted the Bible as a necessity and not a book to choose. No novels, I know that. I could go a whole year without a novel. Something by Beth Moore, Susie Omartain and Bartletts Familiar Quotations. The Heart of a Woman Who Prays by Elizabeth George, Tozer's Designed to Worship...I've been wanting to read something by Minter. I think I'd have to chose a couple I haven't read. And then leave one space to fill up as the year went on. Wow...this makes you think.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo