My aim in this series was to talk about books, reading, and my own reading habits, but also to have some application to the reading habits of others. When I read other blogs of women around my age who discuss books from time to time, it seems the top three book categories mentioned are fiction, Christian lit, and “lifestyle” (although probably more family-oriented since
old most people my age seem to have kids.) Hence, I
included today's category, even though I don't read these books very
often, or at least I don't finish them often. (Hmmm, there seems to
be a theme here...)
Nevertheless, I see the value in reading these kinds of books. Marriage is hard sometimes, and unless you have really solid, honest friendships and mentors you interact with regularly, it's difficult to get input and advice that will strengthen your marriage (rather than just give you an outlet to complain). On the other hand, reading only this kind of literature can give you a kind of “information overload”, where you may feel stressed about which advice to follow or so full of new information that you can't take it in. Of course, as with yesterday's category, Christians should carefully examine marriage (or other lifestyle books) in light of the Bible.
I have a few marriage-related books that I've always intended to read, but honestly the only one that I actually finished was obligatory reading for our pre-marital counseling sessions. I started Love and Respect, but only got a third of the way through, and have high hopes of reading Sacred Marriage and The Five Love Languages one of these days. I think my downfall is that I want to really engage with these books by journalling while reading, but that makes the process fairly slow so it doesn't get done at all.
Whenever we start our family, reading parenting books will probably come a bit more naturally, since there are so many decisions and habits to put in place with little ones and neither Gil, nor I have much experience. Until then, I'd love your input: Do you read books on marriage, dating, family-raising, etc.? Which marriage books are the most helpful or insightful? What should we plan on reading when we have children?