My reading to-do list - Jason Smith

I reached a bit of a milestone last week.

While I was on vacation, I finally finished reading a book I had been trying to complete for more than a year.

It was a political non-fiction book -- my favorite genre to read -- but I was having such a hard time getting to the end.

Part of the reason I took so long to finish the book is because life has been crazy since the day I picked it up at the bookstore, and I haven't often had the energy to keep my eyes open long enough to read it. But, honestly, another factor is that other things, such as TV or Facebook, seem to consume my time at home at night.

Last week, however, was different for a few reasons, including the obvious -- my being on vacation.

First, as I read my book a few pages at a time, I started to see light at the end of the tunnel, which provided further motivation to forge ahead with the task.

I think part of me also wanted to save face with my wife, who is the most voracious reader I've ever known. She devours books faster than I ever could.

There was a third factor, as well, in my desire to reach the end of my book. Oddly enough, it was another book, which I bought at a recent conference at my church.

The book discusses, among other things, the mishandling of the Bible by some preachers, who seem more concerned with gaining favor among men from the pulpit, than being true to God's Word.

I couldn't wait to read it, even though I had other books ahead of it on my to-do list. I didn't want to let it gather dust, like the other books sitting by my bed.

Those books include a Christian fiction novel, another political non-fiction piece and a book on adoption, a topic I wrote about recently in this space.

At any rate, I finished the rest of my political book one night, and began reading the Christian book the next. As of this writing, I'm more than halfway through it, which is a rarity for me, and I am eagerly anticipating the next chance I can get to continue it.

Still, I can't help thinking about how much further along in my reading projects I could be, if I didn't waste time on other things.

As it is, I don't read my Bible nearly enough, which is more of a cause for concern than anything else. That's just as much a case of mishandling God's Word, as those about which I am reading.

Someone once said to me that a person becomes, over time, a combination of what he listens to and reads, as well as the people with whom he surrounds himself.

If that is the case -- and I believe it is -- what does it say about me when I listen to, and watch, mindless drivel on TV and the Internet, and let the dust gather on things which matter more?

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.