Or, how do I plan to getting all those books read?
Some of you have asked this, either in the comments or via Twitter, so here’s what the reading schedule looks like. I haven’t assimilated everything into an Excel spreadsheet at this point, so I’m really giving you the philosophy behind the scheduling. Basically, books get sorted into these categories:
Which book goes where has something to do with length. No matter how you slice it, Grudem’s Systematic Theology can’t really be a weekly book. In reverse order then, here’s how I’ve categorized books and how the reading will unfold.
Over the course of this year (a few pages a week) I’m reading these books:
- Systematic Theology
- The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary
- Dogmatic Theology
- The Theology of Jonathan Edwards
I’ll actually post the schedule for Grudem, since it’s what we’ll be reading in The Marturo Collective once we finish Frame’s book. The books on Warfield and Edwards I’m reading a chapter a week (Edwards) and a chapter a month (Warfield) respectively. Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology is a Logos reading plan.
Each quarter, I’ll focus on a few of the other larger books. So, for instance, this quarter leading up to Easter (Jan 1 -Mar 31) I’ll be reading these books:
The idea is that as time permits, I read maybe a chapter a week in each. All three of these books will actually show up on here as reviews once it gets closer to Easter. In the following quarter (Apr 1 – June 30), I’ll tackle:
Both of these I’ve already read large portions of, so its not really a read from scratch. Over the rest of the summer into fall (July 1 – Sept 30), I’ll shift to these:
This leaves only one book for the last quarter (Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings and Analysis) but that’s also the quarter that includes Thanksgiving and Christmas and generally tends to be hectic.
As far as monthly books go, these is basically a category for books that are too large to be read in a single week. One example I’ll get to in April is Robert Letham’s The Holy Trinity. Later on in the summer, at a month to be determined, I’m looking forward to finally getting into Geerhardus Vos’ Biblical Theology. There may not always be a “Book of the Month,” but here’s the rationale at least for that category.
Finally, some books are merely week long reads. These are usually shorter books (by my definition that’s books 200pgs or so) that can read over the course of a week as time permits. There may or may not be a “Book of the Week” although so far we’ve had several:
You can see these are all topically related. Next month, I’m shifting to epistemology as a focus, so the weekly books will follow suit to some extent. Not every book of the week is read cover to cover, but they’re at least the focus for a week. If they’re up for review, they’ll be read more thoroughly than if its just a book I picked out of my library that I hadn’t gotten around to reading yet.
If you’re looking to follow something like this in your own reading, I’d suggest starting out with a “Book of the Month” that usually would fall in my “Book of the Week” category. That’ll give you 12 solid books this year. In addition, pick a bigger book or two to spread out over the whole year. Lastly, pick a few other books to serve as quarterly reads. This would give you close to 20 books scheduled to read for the year, which isn’t bad. If you think of these categories as slots though, it will help you not pile on too much and to also be realistic about what you can and can’t set as a reading goal for the year.
I may scale some of this back as the year goes on. This is my first time really scheduling things out like this, so I may chafe at the schedule and want to be more spontaneous, or I may get really busy with other things that are perhaps more important than personal reading and need to cut back for that reason. I like to make reading a priority to continually renew my mind, but in the end, reading needs to serve a larger purpose than just my own enjoyment and refreshment.