In Praise of Your Next Great Read - Word&Way

In Praise of Your Next Great Read

When I was on staff at the Missouri Baptist Convention, I was assigned leadership of the church library program for the state. It developed into one of my greatest pleasures in working with the volunteer women and men who directed the work in their own congregations and in the statewide network. It also planted a seed to get my Master of Arts in Information Science from the University of Missouri, a program that I recently completed (M-I-Z…).

Ken SatterfieldKen SatterfieldAre you a reader? Many become what I call “distracted adults” — too busy with work, family and social responsibilities to take time to read, despite the benefits. Increased intelligence and comprehension, reduced stress, a larger vocabulary, more empathy and the possibility of fighting Alzheimer’s Disease are some of the reasons listed in a Reader’s Digest article ( Further, Scientific American finds reading traditional paper has some benefits over tablets and eBooks: serendipity and a sense of control ( 

Reading is an investment of time. An engrossing book can means late nights and bleary mornings. Then there are titles that seem to steal time you’ll never get back. People differ on whether you should stop reading ( or soldier on to the end (

Of course, you could cheat. The American Library Association shares Jessica E. Moyer’s “How to Read a Book in 10 Minutes” (, or you could go all out with Pierre Bayard’s “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” (

Church and public libraries – which offers titles for free, justa reminder – have staff that can make suggestions based on your interests, and may access to subscriber services to further help you. As much as the librarians I know love to help people, most don’t encourage calls at home whenever the urge strikes you to find a title! For those times, here are some options: and are online communities where you can share reviews and get recommendations, including Christian works. and include “Customers who bought this item also bought” suggestions. All of these are also available as apps. 

Whichbooks ( helps you choose by using sliders (happy-sad, expected-unpredictable), while the NPR Book Concierge ( offers filters.

Looking for an eBook? notifies you of free and discounted books of your taste. And and — both apps — allows you borrow eBooks and audiobooks (and in Hoopla’s case, TV, movies, comics, and music) from your library.

When it comes to reading — and finishing — books, keep in mind what Billy Graham said: I’ve read the last page of the Bible; it’s all going to turn out all right.

Ken Satterfield, a former media specialist, is Word&Way’s Advertising and Marketing Coordinator.