The 30 Minute Challenge

30-minute

When I was a kid, I always loved to read. In reading, I found some of my moments of greatest joy.

And honestly, I was, and continue to be a voracious reader.

This weekend while we were in Grand Bend with my in-laws, we were talking about books. Emily had mentioned that while I was away I had something like four or five show up in the mail from blogger review programs and contests. My mother-in-law, Mary, asked a great question:

How on earth do you actually find the time to read as much as you do?

I love the questions my mother-in-law asks. They always get me to think, and I greatly appreciate that.

Here’s the answer: I try to set aside at least 30-45 minutes a day to read.

The average person reads between 250 and 300 words per minute (although figures vary), which works out to roughly 3/4 to one page each minute. That said, I don’t (usually) keep track of the number of pages read, just my time. I do have a lot of things on the go with family, work, writing, and study, that it can be overwhelming to try to add anything into my days.

But, just like my personal study time in the morning, my reading time is one of the few chunks of time I try to guard. For me, this time is immensely helpful for my mental, emotional and spiritual health. I don’t do well with large groups of people for extended periods of time, but getting that time of solitude with a book refreshes and recharges me.

So, here’s my challenge for you:

Set aside 30 minutes every day for the next week and read… well, read whatever will be beneficial for you.

So if you like marketing books, read a good marketing book. Buy•ology is one.

Fiction? Try a Nick Hornby book (personally, I like High Fidelity).

Theology? My goodness…

You get the idea.

But here’s the point: 30 minutes a day is not a lot of time. It’s anywhere between 20-30 pages a day. To put it in perspective, that’s roughly one 200 page book in a week.

Imagine what could change in your life. You might find you have more to talk about with your spouse. You might watch a little less TV. You might spend a little less time on the internet.

And you’ll most definitely find yourself growing in a really positive way.

Take up the challenge. Let me know what you’re reading and keep me up to date on your progress in the comments section.

  • Sarah P

    As someone who makes her living with books, I really appreciate this post, Aaron!! For me, 30 minutes a day is probably an absolute minimum! lol I read on my lunch break, waiting for the bus, before I go to bed, etc. Right now I’m reading a young adult fantasy (yes I must qualify age group because I work in a library ;) called The House of Many Ways by Dianna Wynne Jones. It’s great! :)

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Excellent! Glad you appreciate the post, Sarah. It’s funny, I keep reading all sorts of articles about how no one reads anymore and I just can’t believe that’s true–otherwise, we’d have no use for libraries and bookstores (which at least in our neighborhood are pretty steady).

      The House of Many Ways? Intriguing title. What’s the premise?

  • Pingback: A challenge to start the week… « Reformation Now Blog

  • http://www.facebook.com/cody.lee.robertson Cody Robertson

     I’m reading ‘The Masculine Mandate’ by Richard D Phillips.  I’m through 4 chapters and loving it so far and admittedly would probably be done a week ago or so if I spent 30-45 minutes a day with it.  I’m going to try to take on your challenge.

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      Awesome! I loved the Masculine Mandate. One of the strongest books I’ve read on the subject of biblical masculinity. Glad you’re going to take part in the challenge, Cody!

  • Jeanie Schwagerman

    Now that my kids are older, one just graduated college and will be married in June and other in their last year of High school, I have picked up reading once again.   When I was younger, I would read all the time.  I could’nt tell you how many times I read Little House on the Prairie, or Nancy Drew Books.  My husband likes to read as well so our daughters naturally like to read.  I try to read one fiction book and one theology book a week.  I read during my break at work and when my work is done.  I also read when the family is gathered in the room with the TV on.    The girls and I also belong to goodreads which is fun to see what they are reading and their thoughts.  Sometimes, I will read what they are just so we can have more things to talk about.  On Sunday, the Lords day, I read my theology book.  On reading the word, what has worked for me is www.biblestudy.com.  They have a reading program that you can pick plus version of the bible.  This is my second year and I hope to have read all versions of the bible. Jeanie

  • Anonymous

    Aaron, do you have an e-reader, or do you primarily buy print copies of books?

    • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

      I have the Kindle App and iBooks app for my phone and computer, but I don’t have a dedicated e-reader. Most of the books I read are print editions at this point, although the number of e-books I’ve been reading/purchasing has been increasing (particularly classic works from the Puritans).

      • Anonymous

        Thanks. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Kindle but I’m not sure if I’d like it.

        • http://www.bloggingtheologically.com Aaron Armstrong

          I know my sister loves hers, as did a lady I asked while waiting to board my flight in Denver last week.

  • Anonymous

    Aaron, do you have an e-reader, or do you primarily buy print copies of books?