What you read and study is what you become. When you carry the right books with you, you maintain a continuous flow of truth and information into your heart and mind.
(1) Reading discourages unproductive conversation. You should always be ready to share your faith and minister to the needs of others. But have you ever sat beside someone who couldn’t stop talking? Many times people who love to talk don’t require anything significant to energise them. They talk just to avoid silence; when you keep a book handy, it solves that problem.
(2) Keep a list of books you want to read each month. This prevents unwise selections in moments of boredom, temptation, or fatigue. At the beginning of each year, select fifty-two books you’d like to read by the end of the year—one per week. Reading twenty pages a day will take you through a 140-page book every week.
(3) Carry books when you travel. When you’re away from the busyness of your daily schedule, you can withdraw into your own private world: you can dream, focus, and plan. In mentoring Timothy, Paul wrote: ‘Give attention to reading… Do not neglect the gift that is in you… Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.’ (1 Timothy 4:13–15 NKJV)
The first book you should read is your Bible—and it’s also the one you should read most. But read other books too, because God is the source of all true wisdom and knowledge. To quote Solomon: ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.’ (Proverbs 4:7 NKJV)