Thoughtful Choices about Our Reading

In recent years I have noticed that I am reading fewer books than I used to. And as an RC teacher and leader, I’ve been aware that many RCers seem to find it increasingly difficult to read RC literature.

Last year I made some progress on my ordinary reading. I noticed that I am comfortable when I’m surrounded by people, for example in a coffee shop or library, but not when I’m home on my own [home alone]. I discussed this with a friend who loves reading, and we began to get together regularly at his house. We’d read our books quietly in the same room and then talk about what we’d been reading. This worked well, and I began to reclaim my enjoyment of reading fiction.

I’ve always enjoyed and been enthusiastic about RC literature. However, in 2017 I found it increasingly difficult to read Present Time. I either only read a small amount or didn’t even open the envelope. I’d also been reading more and more online—for example, reading online news and social media while I was eating my breakfast.

I decided on a strategy that seems to be working for me. Each morning I first read Present Time or a book I’ve chosen, before I read anything online. I put my timer on for twenty minutes. I’ve found some wonderful, hopeful information about wide world change that I wouldn’t have read anywhere else.

I think one of the fascinations with online reading is the idea that it is the source of the most up-to-date information. That isn’t true.

I’m interested to hear other people’s ideas for helping one another make thoughtful choices about our reading.

Ralph Pettingill

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

(Present Time 191, April 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00