10 Reasons to Read More Books This Year

When I was a kid, books were my favorite things in the world. As a pre-teen, they became my obsession. One of the worst punishments of my life was when my mom took away my books for a day. I was an avid, voracious reader, my Kindle attached at the hip.

But then I entered high school. Then college. Then I graduated. And I still adored books. But suddenly I found I had less time than ever to read. My schedule was getting swallowed up by a number of overwhelming and serious responsibilities—school, work, family time, church, friendships.

And I realized that I was reading less books than ever before. (Can anybody relate?)

But this was also when I realized . . . that needed to change.

Here’s the thing: Reading is not always easy and not always especially fun. When you’re tired, busy, or bored, Netflix seems like the better option.

Reading is vital to the thinking, growing, maturing Christian young woman.

But reading is vital to the thinking, growing, maturing Christian young woman. The Bible should always be our firm foundation (our favorite, most-read and loved book). Yet reading other books is necessary, too. They help us apply God’s Word and see His truth in stories. They are a terrific tool and gift God has given us to engage in His world and grow in wisdom.

So for all the other girls out there who need some motivation to read more books in 2018, here are ten reasons to turn off Netflix, stop making excuses, and start reading (something) today.

Why You Should Start Reading More

  1. Reading introduces you to new ideas. Fiction and non-fiction both transmit worldviews and champion ideas. Every book in existence is about ideas. Some are lovely, some mind-blowing, some bitterly false, some evil, some life-giving. But you will never know and grow if you do not read.
  1. Reading introduces you to new friends. Whether it’s the author or characters, there is a unique parasocial bond created through books. You feel like you know these people, like the imaginary ones exist and like the real ones are now your friends. There is tremendous joy to be found in reading about people you care for.
  1. Books make you smarter than Netflix. Books are not easier than Netflix. You need to think to read, need to stretch your mind and invigorate those brain cells. Netflix only requires a couple of clicks. You can just “turn off your brain.” But is that what we really want? Is that making us more intelligent, thoughtful beings? Sure, Netflix in moderation is okay (I’m actually a big fan!), but are you sacrificing significant reading time for it?
  1. Books just make you smarter in general. On a wide scale, books increase your intelligence. They expand your vocabulary, invite you to understand new concepts, shift your paradigms, and help you to become a generally more well-educated individual.
  1. Reading makes you a more critical thinker. If you read, you will inevitably encounter ideas and worldviews you disagree with. Engage with that conflict. Think more deeply about what you believe and why you believe it. Analyze reasoning. Be discerning (1 John 4:1).
  1. Reading makes you feel things. Emotions are not inherently bad. Feeling grief, joy, humor, or delight through books is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a beautiful side effect of being invested in literature.
  1. Reading makes you more empathetic. Books act like a bridge between you and people who are different from you. They help you embrace empathy instead of fear or hostility. It’s because of God’s work through books that I’ve grown more empathetic to people who face different struggles and circumstances than me.
  1. Reading increases your wonder. God has made a spectacular world. It is creeping and crawling with a trillion wonders, both big and small. And books open our eyes to these mercies and magic. God is a wonderful Creator and a good Gift-Giver. As our wonder increases, so should our gratitude (1 Thess. 5:18).
  1. Reading makes you rest. In such a frenetically-paced world, we are always moving, going, doing. We live at hyper-speed. Books remind us of our finite limitations and force us to slow down and stop. You can’t read a book and write an essay or practice the piano at the same time. You must devote your full attention to reading. You must pause and rest.
  1. Reading makes you a better Christian. Even if you’re not reading the Bible, you are applying your Christian worldview—your beliefs in sin and redemption and restoration—to what you read. You are developing spiritual muscles. You are reading books that make you a more thoughtful individual, a more mindful person of the world God has created. Anything we do for the glory of God makes us better Christians (1 Cor. 10:31), including reading.

So what’s on your reading list this year?

About Author

Jaquelle Crowe

Jaquelle Crowe is a twentysomething writer from eastern Canada. She’s a graduate of Thomas Edison State University and co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop. She is author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (2017). You can find more of her writing at JaquelleCrowe.com.

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  • Emily

    Lately I’ve been trying to replace my screen time with a good book. I am currently reading “Kisses from Katie”by Katie Davis with Beth Clark. It is so stinking good! This year I want to dive into some John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Tim Keller.
    Unfortunately my library doesn’t have the best selection of books for YA. Most of it is either filled with sex, demonic fantasy, or meloncholy future-istic books. That means I have to get my books in hard print, kindle, and or special order them.
    I was blessed to receive some good books for Christmas and I am growing a list of book that i want to read. One book I have on my list is “100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self” by Annie F. Downs. I am so excited for Erin’s new book and “Live Fearless” by Sadie Robertson to come out.
    I am also open to recommendations from everyone!
    I recommend:
    C.S. Lewis
    Bryan Davis (Homeschooling Christian fantasy author!!!!)
    Bonnie S.Calhoun (Her Stone Braide Chronicles are clean, sweet, and awesome!)
    L.M. Montgomery
    Janette Oke
    Susie Shellenberger & Kristen Weber
    Jane Austen
    Nancy Leigh DeMoss & Dannah Gresh
    Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird
    Jen Wilken
    Terri Blackstock
    Marjorie Jackson
    Sadie Robertson
    (Just to name a few…) I hope everyone has a blessed day!

    • Erika

      Hi Emily! Thank you for the recommendations. I love reading too!
      If you are enjoying Kisses from Katie, you will probably like the book by the same author called Daring To Hope. It is a newer book she wrote.
      I have read Girl Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird, and I thought it was amazing! Did you know that soon their new book will be out, expected in May: Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships. I’m very excited for it!

    • Woah, there are so many great recommendations on here. Love these authors! =)

  • Karen Elaine Fulmer

    I read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper this month, and it was really good. I thought Piper would be boring, but I was proved wrong. Very good read, and I’d also suggest Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney.

    • Both of those are absolutely fantastic books… especially for us young people. =)

  • Katie

    Emily & Karen,
    These are great reads you have recommended!
    I’d like to also suggest:
    Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts, The Broken Way, and Be the Gift.
    Michelle DeRusha’s Spiritual Misfit, Martin & Katarina
    and anything by G.K. Chesterton.
    Blessings in Christ!

    • I loved Mirchelle DeRusha’s Martin and Katarina, but I’ll have to check out her Spiritual Misfit!

  • Lollypop

    So I read a lot, different genres, different authors, and different books. some of my favorites aren’t christian, there just books with what I think is good, (not too complicated, but not to easy) reads. They challenge my mind and sometimes test my endurance. So here are a few of my fav’s: Harry Potter (I know this gets a lot of debate from christians, but I really like them.), The Penderwicks, These aren’t that popular but they are definitely good, Anne of Green Gables, this one definitely test endurance it is long and sometimes boring, but so so worth it. I also have a book blog where I try to talk about the story and my opinions of books. Check it out! skyebooks.wordpress.com It is more for Teens but anyone is welcome to see my opinions on books I read. it is totally my opinion not the authors.

    • Hey there! I think it’s pretty cool that we can read books that aren’t explicitly Christian but still appreciate good literature with our gospel eyes. And I’m a humongous fan of Anne of Green Gables (I only live about 3 hours from Prince Edward Island, so I’ve been tons of times!).

    • Rachel Carpenter

      I love the Penderwicks!

  • Rachel Carpenter

    Thank you for posting this. As a high school senior, I have been really struggling to read at all lately. It is really hard to engage my brain and I always feel guilty because there is always something else I “should” be doing. But now I am going to read some every day no matter how guilty it makes me feel. Any suggestions on what books to read?

    • I can totally relate, Rachel! It sometimes feels like reading is a waste of time, but it’s truly helping us so much in so many ways. There are some great book suggestions in the comments here, but I’ll offer three: 1) Lies Young Women Believe (of course! =P), 2) The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller, and 3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

      • Rachel Carpenter

        Thank you so much! I will definitely check them out.

  • Beautiful Dreamz

    WOW!!! Now I have been following and reading your post for a while. They helped me get through hard time and certain situations plus general knowledge as well. But this perticular post is different then what I’ve ever seen up here and It’s preety amazing.!.! Now the only reason i have’nt read other books (other than the bible) because I felt that it was ungodly or non christian just like you described in your post. But just know you have opened my eyes to a new world of exploation and wonder. This list is the best!!! Thank You<3<3<3 #AllLove

  • Servant for Him

    I’m reading my ‘Bible’, ‘Choosing Gratitude, by Nancy DeMoss’, ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’, ‘Seven Royal Law’s of Courtship, Jerry Ross’, ‘Passion & Purity, Elisabeth Elliot’, ‘The Pursuit of Man, A.W. Tozer, ‘Hearts Of Fire, published by The Voice Of The Martyrs’, ‘The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward’, ‘The Power of a Praying Woman, Stormie Omartian’, & a book an elder recommended I read, ‘The Home, John R. Rice’. Thank you for your blog, Jaquelle. I use to not enjoy reading but now instead of worldly interests like tv & etc I have become a book worm when I am not serving God with visitation, praying, helping in the church, & etc.

  • Lisa Denise

    Currently reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jeff Bridges. As a single Mum and recently divorced christian woman, faith based books has really helped me thru so much and my kids. “When Happily Ever After Shatters by Sue Birdseye gave me a biblical view and a real advice as I faced each day after my husband left us.

    I am also reading Eight Months in Provence: A Junior Year Abroad 30 years Too Late. My goal is to read 25 books this year: a mix of christian authors and fiction.
    Thank you so much for this post

    • Horse Lover

      Wow! That is a great goal!

      What are some of your favorite non-fiction? (Besides the ones above :))

  • Catherine

    I completely and totally agree. I love reading and I read books so fast it’s just natural for me to finish a Harry Potter book in 2 days.

    • Thanks for reading this, Catherine! I resonate with being a fast reader. That’s actually a pretty cool gift that we have. We can read more good books than many others who take a little longer to read. God has really blessed us! =)

      • Catherine

        Thank you for replying and I love being a fast reader!

  • Horse Lover

    I am an avid reader! Seriously love it!! This year I am really trying to get into the non- fiction and I am totally loving it so far! Eric and Leslie Ludy are my favorite authors so far. Along with Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird!
    Tracie Peterson, Will James, and John Erickson are some of my favorite fiction authors!
    I am totally open to suggestions of non-fiction!

    • Man, those are some great authors! Some of my favorite non-fiction authors are John Piper, Rosaria Butterfield, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Tony Reinke, and J.C. Ryle. And some of my fave non-fiction books are “Holiness” by J.C. Ryle, “Lit” by Tony Reinke, and “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper. =)

      • Horse Lover

        Ah yes! Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is a favorite of mine too! 🙂 I am very excited to read John Piper’s books! 🙂

  • Jewels

    Chuck Black, Lois Walfrid Johnson (The Raider’s Promise), Elizabeth Prentiss (Stepping Heavenward), Lucy M. Montgomery, Louisa M. Alcott (Little Women), Martha Finley (Elsie’s Stolen Heart), Janet & Geoff Benge, C. Von Schmid (A Basket of Flowers).