Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reading Plan for 2008

For the past two years in January I have compiled my hopeful reading list for the upcoming year. Every year, after about March, I discover that I am reading different books than I have planned. My eyes have never met some of the pages of my books. In the past I felt guilty and disappointed for not having read some of the books I had intended to. I felt silly that I could not read 10 pages per day of this book, or 25 of another. I realize every February that I am getting wore out and not even processing the books that I am reading. I quit enjoying it an it becomes a labor; and unfruitful one at that. So, by March I start reading the way I should have in January and February. This year instead of being dumb in January I am going to make a list of the books I hope to read, take my time, read at a pace that I can process and learn, and enjoy everything I read. I usually read about 5 books at a time (sometimes more, but usually 5 is what I can handle and still process everything). I will break everything up into 5 categories: Puritan, Pastoral, Devotional, Biographical, and Theological.

Biographical books are usually easier to read and I go through them faster. So, I will have 8 or 10 of those. Devotional books are what I consider "Christian Living" books, these usually are not difficult to read but if they are to sink deep they would require a little time to chew on. Therefore, I will have about 6 to 8 of these. Theological books are very meaty and take a long time to read and chew on. They are usually longer in length. I will attempt to read 3 or 4 of these. Puritans are sometimes tough to read; sometimes easy to read; sometimes nearly impossible to read; all the while extremely worthwhile to read. I have a lofty goal this year of reading 12 Puritan Paperbacks (usually about 150-200 pages). Pastoral works usually need to be read over a few times and spaced out over time to process everything. I will attempt to read 5 or 6 of these this year.

Also, some of the books are a continuance from this year.


Finish Owen's Overcoming Sin and Temptation
Finish Letters of Samuel Rutherford

  1. The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
  2. The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson
  3. A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine
  4. The Art of Prophesying by William Perkins
  5. Learning in Christ's School by Ralph Venning
  6. The Christian's Great Interest by William Guthrie
  7. The True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton
  8. The Godly Man's Pictrue by Thomas Watson
  9. Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices by Thomas Brooks
  10. Gospel Fear by Jeremiah Burroughs
  11. The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan
  12. The Anatomy of Secret Sins by Obadiah Sedgwick
  13. Christ's Last Disclosure of Himself by William Greenhill
  14. The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel


Finish A Pastor's Sketches by Ichabod Spencer

  1. Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore
  2. Foundations of Grace (Vol. 1) by Steven Lawson
  3. 2000 Years of Christ Power by N.R. Needham
  4. Jonathan Edwards: Evangelist by John Gerstner
  5. Welsey and the Men Who Followed by Iain Murray
  6. John Newton: From Disgrace to Amazing Grace by Jonathan Aitken
  7. The Rise and Fall of the English Puritans by John Brown
  8. Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God by David McCasland
  9. By His Grace and For His Glory by Tom Nettles


  1. The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever
  2. Preaching Christ from All of Scripture by Edmund Clowney
  3. The Cross and Christian Ministry by D.A. Carson
  4. Basic Greek and Exegesis by Richard Ramsay
  5. The Christian Pastor's Manual compiled by John Brown
  6. Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell (Re-Read)


  1. Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
  2. For Us and Our Salvation by Stephen Nichols
  3. When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey
  4. The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott
  5. Humility by C.J. Mahaney
  6. Loved by God by R.C. Sproul
  7. What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper
  8. The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges


Finish Biblical Theology by Geerhardus Vos
Finish Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter

  1. Early Christian Doctrines by J.N.D. Kelley
  2. God's Passion for His Glory by John Piper
  3. The Justification of God by John Piper
  4. A New Testament Theology by George Ladd
  5. An Old Testament Theology by Bruce Waltke


  1. Mike, how do you even get all these books during the course of a year? Do you just budget them in, do you get them from a library? Let me know, there are so many of these books and others that I would love to read, I just always struggle with the financial end of it.

  2. I actually do own about 75% of the books on my list. The other 25% I hope to get throughout the year. In answer to your question about how I get all these books...

    1) I have a plan. I create a wishlist of the top 30 or so books that I want.

    2) With my wishlist I frequently check E-Bay or Amazon for great deals. I have gotten some great deals in the past.

    3) I also budget buying some of the books.

    4) I also ask for books off my wishlist for Christmas, etc.

    5) Puritan Paperbacks are about 5-8 bucks a piece, so you can usually squeeze them into a budget.

    6) Some of those books you could read online.

    The key thing in my mind is to have a plan. Until I created a wishlist I was able to find some decent deals on Ebay but found that I was practically wasting my money. Now, I keep my eyes open and only buy books on my list (although occasionally something will catch my eye that probably should be on my list). Even if you could budget 10 bucks per month that could probably get you at least 6-10 of the books if you are patient and do bargain shopping.

  3. P.S.--I would also be willing to loan you some of the books that I have finished (especially if they are not ones that I will frequently use to quote)



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