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Just Read One Sentence

Over the span of my life, I’ve gone through different phases of reading. Especially as a middle schooler and even into high schooler, I was an avid reader. In college, the pace of life, the atmosphere of dorms, and the volume of “required” reading seemed to work against my love of reading.

##”You Should Read…”

One thing that has always remained as a constant is that there is always something that I “ought” to be reading, whether it’s more of the Bible, the latest book on parenting or youth ministry, or some popular fiction novel that everyone else is reading. There’s always more to read than I have time to read, and frankly more than I care to even attempt to read.

And after periods of a deep saturation of reading, I find myself turning my brain off, being intimidated by the idea of reading another page of another book. My mind gets tired and I just quit.

##Non-Reading Inertia
Not reading builds a kind of inertia. Like any good habit, it’s easy to break, and after time passes, it’s hard to build the momentum back up. You set a book down, and forget to read it one day, one week, one month, and then realize that you’re the guy who has read the preface to ten books but has finished none.

One trick that I have heard in various forms that has always been helpful is this: just read one sentence. Instead of looking at a book and envisioning the process of reading the entire book with all the mental energy that it would require, just consider opening the book and reading one sentence.

One sentence. That’s all you’re committing to. When that sentence is done, consider reading another. And soon enough you find that you’re reading more than you originally imagined you would. And reading begets reading. So the momentum builds in a positive direction.

##Reading is Important
I love to read because I get to hear the thoughts of those who have gone before, those who are smarter, or more imaginative than I ever will be. My mind gets a chance to flex its muscles and my imagination gets a chance to create. Reading is an important life-skill, too important to let intimidation get the best of us.