What kind of reader are you? I often have breakfast with two friends. One doesn’t read. (What?) The other only reads nonfiction, usually for his work. My reading is a lot different.

I love to read. My parents used to laugh at me because, even at an early age, whenever we went somewhere, or went just for a ride, I’d be in the backseat reading. They really gave me a hard time when I got my driver’s license and had to ask directions whenever we drove anywhere.

Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” And most writing teachers agree. So I see reading as an important part of my writing.

I like to read a couple of books at a time. Presently I try to read four different ones. It works if you read them at different times of the day and they have reasonable chapter lengths.

My goal is to read one related to the Bible, one related to writing, another nonfiction (maybe a biography), and finish at night with fiction (usually mystery). The subjects are different enough that I usually don’t get them mixed up.

I am starting this month off reading A Love Worth Giving by Max Lucado. I love anything by Max and have read almost all his adult books since I worked in the bookstore in the 90’s. When we were still at the bookstore, and had just heard about Madison’s autism, we went to a book signing that he was giving. He was so gracious, going out of his way to try to connect with a squirming young boy and making us feel special.

Max shows how I Corinthians 13 shows how Jesus loves us, and through that how we can love others by living in His overflow. Maybe I need to read this once a month.

This morning I finished How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. I am always leery of reading a book by a professor because I have tried to read some that were boring, condescending, and written as if for their little niche.

This was not like that. Professor Foster lifted the veil so we could see what literary critics look for and does it simply and with humor.

From a writer’s perspective, I think themes and symbols often find their own way into our stories. While reviewing, an author can recognize them and bring them out if they want to.

I am also reading Agatha Christie by Laura Thompson. Almost five hundred stinking pages, so I’m putting off a good mystery that I’ve been wanting to read. It’s a library book so I’m doubling down on it. I am not thrill about it. I doubt whether some of the parts are true and she spends a lot of time on minor details that aren’t important. There should be a better, shorter biography of the Grand Dame or mystery that would be a better use of your time.

Hope you get to spend time with a good book this month. If it is something you’d recommend, please leave me a comment.