Thoughts on Reading

pile of booksYesterday I mentioned that I’m trying to read more books this year. Right before New Years, I read a blog post asking “If you only read one book a year for the rest of your life, how many books will that leave you?” This was a huge kick in the pants for me because I used to read quite a bit and I have dramatically slowed down how much I’ve been reading over the last couple of years. Last year I read two books.  Not exactly thrilling, especially when there are so many books I want to read.

So I started the year with a list of twelve books I’d like to read before the year is over.  That list has grown now to 17.  I’m a little freaked out by the goal, but at least if I shoot high, I’ll hit something.  Anything is better than two books.

So, with no further ado, here is the list of books I’m attempting to read for this year:

What Jesus Started
T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution
BiVo: A Manifesto
The Permanent Revolution
Church 3.0
The Failure of Nerve
Three Roads to the Alamo
Jesus: A Theography
The Interior Castle
Apostolic Foundations
The Impossible Mentor
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton
Getting Things Done

The Starfish Vision
The Starfish and the Spider
Church Transfusion
Life Together

One thing I don’t want to do, however, is get too focused on reading to the exclusion of everything else in my life.  I’ve certainly read more church planting books than I’ve planted churches and it’s always better to follow Jesus than read about somebody else following Jesus.  I’m always (and especially in this endevour want to be) conscious of John Wesley’s warning about books: “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.” So keep me accountable and keep me from adding too many other books to this list!

That said, have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think? And what are you trying to knock off your reading list?

Photo Credit: Pile of Books by Aaron Suggs


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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

2 responses to “Thoughts on Reading”

  1. David Bolton says :

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks for this list, most of which I’m not familiar with but am interested in checking out. The only one I have completely “read” (actually listened to on audio) is Life Together by Bonhoeffer. It has some amazing insights and exhortations for life in community.

    On my list to knock off are: (for starters)

    Principles for the Gathering of Believers Under the Headship of Jesus Christ (almost finished – highly recommended)

    58 to 0: How Christ Leads Through The One Anothers by Jon Zens (brand new from bro. Zens)

    The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Dissent and Nonconformity) by Leonard Verduin and Franklin H. Littell (half-way done…incredible book!)

    Shaped by Vision, A Biography of T. Austin-Sparks by Rex G Beck (Sparks is the man!)

    Good to exhort one another to read good books in a day of texts, tweets and FB shallowness!

    Love to you, bro.!

    • traviskolder says :


      Thanks for the comment. I’ve seen the book “Gathering of Believers” for free on Kindle, I’ll have to snag that one next time around. Though I may not be reading it for awhile. 😉

      Also, you are totally right. Part of this is an exercise in getting back to more thoughtful reading, ancient thought, and diverse thinking, something social media in all its forms doesn’t allow.

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