I have this strange fetish that I have to read every book I start from cover to cover. I also do this with newspapers and magazines. I am not sure why, but I am very uncomfortable with not finishing a book once I have started it and I do not like to read random chapters out of a book or start in the middle or do anything except read it cover to cover. I know that this goes back to when I was a kid. I can remember that the library at my elementary school had an entire section of biographies of historical figures. These books were written for children, but they were quite large (~150-200 pages). For some reason, I decided to read an entire row of that section, and that is exactly what I did. I started with the first book, read it cover to cover, and then went down the row until I had completed all of them. I recall the sense of satisfaction from knowing that I had read the entire book and then the entire row. I now find myself struggling to enjoy the book and what I am learning as much as I simply enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I read the whole thing.
Well, I say all of that to explain my actions in reading the Bible in 1 year*. For one of my New Year's Resolutions, I decided that I needed to read the entire Bible. So, I set a course of reading 4 chapters a day, which means that I would probably have finished in late October. However, I have become increasingly frustrated with falling behind in my reading and almost feeling a burden to accomplish this task. So, rather than simply giving up, I decided to get more aggressive. As you may have noticed, I finished all of the books that I was currently reading this past weekend. I did that so I could focus all of my reading time and energy on the Bible. Now I am not going to read according to any specific schedule, I am just going to read as much as I can to get through it as quickly as possible. I hope to have the whole thing done in a few months.
This probably sounds crazy to an outside observer, perhaps even to the point that this will do more damage than good. I recognize that it is a little disturbing to take the mindset that I am going to read only my Bible so I can "get through it as quickly as possible." However, reading like this is deeply ingrained into who I am as a person. I do not think I could live with the idea of just giving up something I started to do. My plan is to read the Bible all the way through so I can begin my next project of taking cohesive passages and studying them in depth. I may be a little nuts in the head, but what harm can it do to read the whole Bible?
*I consider the Bible to be more than a book - I believe the Bible is the Word of God. For this reason, my rule of needing to read a book cover to cover does not necessarily apply to the Bible. I have no problem reading random passages in the Bible and skipping around from book to book or chapter to chapter. However, this will be the 8th time that I have read the Bible cover to cover. The amazing thing to me is that the more I read the Bible, the more I realize how much I have to learn and how much I do not understand. I do not think the Bible is a book that can be mastered (at least not in this lifetime).