I hate reading, but I love being inspired

Written by Amber -
My current book recommendations. ...Wait, WHAAAT?! I actually read enough to  have  recommendations?

My current book recommendations. ...Wait, WHAAAT?! I actually read enough to have recommendations?

Some people love reading.
I am not one of those people.

Why? It's really hard for me to sit still and focus on such a quiet activity. I am the slowest reader ever. Because reading is not particularly enjoyable to me, I am also highly distracted ...SQUIRREL!... when I read, so every time I take my eyes off of the page, I have to ...SQUIRREL!... find where I was and re-read the same thing over again to remind myself what it ...SQUIRREL!... said. No matter how good the book is, reading relaxes me to the point of falling asleep—after about four sentences. (No, I'm not exaggerating. Yes, this made college incredibly difficult for me.) It can also be noted that I certainly do not read fiction books for entertainment—unless I'm desperate for a nap.

The problem is, there are SO many great books out there! It's not okay for me to use the excuse of "But I don't like reading" to get out of filling my brain with helpful information and inspiration. In a world where more information is at our fingertips than ever before, it's not okay to be ignorant or lazy. Instead, I had to be creative and figure out a work-around for myself. Here's what I discovered:

  • I sit at a computer for most of my day. 
    Since I often work from my desk, I'm always connected to the Internet. Blogs have become a major source of info & inspiration for me. They're generally a manageable length and are separated by headings throughout, giving me the impression they are shorter. I can skim & not feel guilty. I can scroll while reading, which gives my body something to do (rather than sitting still). Plus, they are free!
  • I am an auditory learner. 
    When I hear a story someone shares with me or something on the radio, it sticks with me much more quickly (and for a longer period of time) than when I read. Audio books—hello! Why didn't I think of that before? I am the happiest camper with my Audible account. Guys—I've finished TEN books in four months with Audible. That's more than I've read in my entire adult life, combined! I love that I can still bookmark sections, re-read portions and even pause the book. Most of the readers (who are often the authors themselves) have been surprisingly entertaining!
  • I am a busy-body.
    One of the reasons I'm loving audio books is that I can be doing something while I'm listening to a book. I feel like I've doubled my productivity! For instance, I can edit massive amounts of photos while I'm listening to a book—more than I could without listening, because my mind is occupied differently. I can do household chores like washing dishes while listening to a book (which my husband loves). I can listen to books while I drive—which has turned down time into productive, learning time.

My challenge to you

If you are a person who generally opts out of reading because of reasons similar to mine, examine yourself and your habits. Discover some work-arounds that allow you to get the information and inspiration you need in your life. No more excuses! Be creative and find a way to read in a way that works for you.

My book recommendations

Humor me. I've never read enough in my life to HAVE a list of book recommendations, so thanks for checking out my picks. But all joking aside, the 6 books listed below have encouraged me in incredible ways, have changed my thinking and have given me the kick in the pants I needed to move forward in my life. (SO glad I'm not using lazy excuses to dismiss reading anymore... I wasted so much time!)

  1. The Bible
    Recommended for anyone who is human. It's our guidebook to life! ...Cliché or not, this one will always be on my list. But seriously, check out the YouVersion Bible app and try the audio option as you read along in your hardbound copy. That concept + the built-in reading plans have transformed my desire to read the Bible and daily habits, completely! I'm addicted.
  2. God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
    Reminded me what a privilege it is to HAVE the Bible available and to be allowed to read it. Did you know that 75% of the world's population live in locations where religion is restricted by law? The real-life stories Brother Andrew has about smuggling Bibles past the Iron Curtain are crazy...in the most inspirational way.
  3.  START by Jon Acuff
    If this book doesn't motivate you to get moving in life, I don't know what will. I listened to it in one sitting—5.5 hours straight. Jon is one of the funniest speakers I've heard and this book is no exception. He'll have you in stitches. It's all about leaving "average" to get on the road to "awesome" and how to "punch fear in the face."
  4. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
    Malcolm Gladwell is a bestselling author. You "readers" out there might know him from Outliers or The Tipping Point. You auditory learners out there like myself may have seen him on TED. The tagline of this book is, "Underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants." It's thought-provoking and incredibly well written. Makes you think twice about what the word "advantage" really means.
  5. Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick
    Pastor Steven Furtick (from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC) walks you through stories of the Bible as he challenges you to dream bigger. Steven says, "In short, I’m out to activate your audacious faith. To inspire you to ask God for the impossible. And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential."
  6. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
    Yes, Blake is "the TOMS shoes guy." He wrote this book with a true entrepreneurial spirit and to encourage people to make a difference in the world. Very transparently and honestly, he tells the story of how TOMS got started and how empowering and rewarding it is to give back at the same time. Inspiring!

BONUS - My favorite blogs to read:
Seth Barnes (www.sethbarnes.com) for practical lessons about everyday faith in Jesus. He has the best reminders and devotionals. Also, because I believe we are called to love others and share the Gospel with the world, I am HIGHLY encouraged by blogs written by missionaries around the world. They are mini windows into life and happenings to places I've never been (and may never go). They highlight things God is up to around the world. Check out the blogs of these "World Racers" and be inspired by them all.  

Now get reading!