“Write this down,” said God to Moses and various prophets, as recorded in Holy Scripture. If He wanted His story written, God surely intended it to be read.
The sharpest people you know are readers; the dullest never crack a book. My parents both read constantly. There was never a time in my growing up years when we did not take the newspaper, and sometimes more than one. In 2007, when God took our Dad the family had to cancel a half dozen subscriptions to magazines he was taking. He was nearly 96.
At the moment, my bedside table holds books on history, politics, music, and westerns. Every couple of weeks I go through those I’ve read and ship some off to family or make a delivery to Goodwill. Otherwise, we would be running over with books around here.
And I love it.
In her book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells how several presidents came to develop their gifts for influencing others and leading the nation. Early on, with Abraham Lincoln, there was a love for books.
Left on his own, Abraham had to educate himself. He had to take the initiative, assume responsibility for securing books, decide what to study, become his own teacher. He made things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Gaining access to reading material proved nearly insurmountable. Relatives and neighbors recalled that Lincoln scoured the countryside to borrow books and read every volume “he could lay his hands on.” A book was his steadfast companion. Every respite from the daily manual tasks was a time to read a page or two from Pilgrim’s Progress or Aesop’s Fables, pausing while resting his horse at the end of a long row of planting.
Then, Goodwin says about his technique: