Jan 2, 2011

1,000,000 words

Read for just 15 minutes a day and even take a day off a week and you’ll have read a million words in a year. John Piper has done the maths;

Suppose you read slowly like I do – maybe about the same speed that you speak- 200 words a minute. If you read fifteen minutes a day for one year (say just before supper, or just before bed), you will read 5,475 minutes in the year. Multiply that by 200 words a minute, and you get 1,  095,000 words that you would read in a year. Now an average serious book might have about 360words per page. So  you would have read 3,041 pages in one year. That’s ten very substantial books. All in fifteen minutes a day.

Or, to be specific, my copy of Calvin’s Institutes has 1,521 pages in two volumes, with an average of 400 words per page, which is 608, 400 words. That means that even if you took a day off each week you could read this great biblical vision of God and man in less than nine months (about thirty-three weeks) at fifteen minutes a day. The point is: The words and ways of God will abide in you more deeply and more powerfully if you give yourself to some serious reading of great books that are saturated with Scripture. It certainly does not have to be John Calvin – or my favourite, Jonathan Edwards – but not to read any of the great old books when you have access to them may be owing to nothing better than what Lewis calls “chronological snobbery.”

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