Ok, quick little game…if I were to ask you which category you would fall in between Reading Ain’t Right or Reading All Night, most of us would quickly choose the Reading All Night. No one wants to identify or be labeled under a Reading Ain’t Right category. Isn’t that the reason why we even went to school…to learn to read?
Let’s be clear, everyone knows reading is right. The “ain’t right” category is more of a fit or what’s comfortable. Kind of like when we’re trying on a pair of shoes or some clothes (hopefully before we purchase). If it’s a pair of shoes we like and they pass the obvious checklist: right color, right size, and right price. The final critique is the feel test. Do they actually feel good? If not, our response is usually something like, “something ain’t right!” Maybe they’re too big or too small or too something. They just ain’t right.
It’s the same way with making a major decision, be it a job, a relationship, a larger purchase (i.e. car, home, etc). We’ve all gone into places or situations and within minutes, we notice something ain’t right. We’re not comfortable. It may be a vibe or a certain mood, but we know it ain’t right so we bounce.
That’s what I mean by ain’t right. It’s not that reading is unlawful…just uncomfortable.
Ain’t Right is Married to All Night
Yo, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the dude who’s going to sit around during “recess” and pick up a book. It’s not something I made a habit of back in the day. In fact, if you were to ask me during high school or college the last book I read, guarantee it would’ve been the last assignment in a textbook. No lie! Clearly, I would’ve been in the “Ain’t Right” category.
On the other hand, my READ OR DIE wifey is the exact opposite. This woman would be the “reading all night” champion. I’m talking “flash light under the covers” kind of reading. Please don’t tell her I told you this…but my wife actually stole books from the library while in high school. Imagine that. I’m 40-something and to this day, I can’t imagine someone stealing a book without pictures! What’s the point?
Now, before you go labeling my Boo as some KLEPTO, she did eventually return all of them (thank God for the nightly book drop box). And we’re not going to toss out numbers…let’s just say, WAY MORE than 10! LOL
Ain’t Right Becomes All Night
Here’s the deal, most of us can actually be in the Ain’t Right category and not even know it. As much as we agree that reading is important, the proof really is in the last book read. A couple of weeks ago, I was just in a conversation with one of my former students. Dude was an honor roll student while in my class years ago. I recommended a book that would help accomplish one of his goals. His response, “Dula, you know I don’t read!” Mind you, this is a grown, able to read, child rearing, full-time working, 30-plus year old man admitting his boredom with reading; even if it could help him. As quiet as it’s kept, reading ain’t right for him.
After our conversation, I started thinking…I’m no different. Sure, I’m in ministry and reading the Scriptures along with a few commentaries is somewhat expected. But, if that’s all I’m reading, I’m in trouble and once again leading the “ain’t right” charge. In an effort to remain in the “all night” category, I’m reading like four books right now. No, I don’t sit down read one until the end then I pick up the next one. I’m WAY too A.D.D (attention deficit disorder) for that!
Seriously, on a day like today (it’s Saturday and not a lot on the agenda) I’ll put myself on a timer while reading (usually right at 90 minutes). Whenever I’m in a book and at a place where my mind starts to drift, I grab the next book and continue reading. The pattern is usually about 45 minutes covering two different books. Not the entire book in that one time segment, though I’m still tripping over how much I cover.
Sounds elementary? You’re probably right…but it’s RIGHT for me. IT’S COMFORTABLE. Most of my books are electronic (thank God for the Kindle App) so I can read wherever & whenever (stuck in traffic, waiting for Myles’ dismissal from school…anywhere)! Below are the four books I’m reading right now and each is engaging and keeping me in the “all night” category.
Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend,
by Andy Stanley
Every Bush Is Burning
by Brandon Clements
It’s Personal: Surviving and Thriving on the Journey of Church Planting
by Brian and Amy Bloye
The Most Famous Man In America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher,
by Debby Applegate