When Less is More: Pursuing Quality Over Quantity

I read a lot of magazines. For some I pay a subscription, others are free, and a few just show up. It used to be most magazines came out every month, but with increased costs, decreased advertising, and other publishing pressures, many magazines have wandered from a once-a-month schedule: they may skip some months, combine issues, or revert to bimonthly or quarterly distribution.

They strategically plan their schedule to when readers read and advertisers advertise.

When Less is More: Pursuing Quality Over QuantityAs a result, it seems I receive fewer magazines over the summer months and during the winter holidays – when publishers are apt to skip or combine issues – and more magazines in the fall and spring – when the traditional schedules are likely to hold.

This means I sometimes have a pile of magazines awaiting my attention and other times, very few. The number of magazines in my reading queue affects how I read them. When there are many magazines vying for my time, I’m more likely to skip articles, skim sections, or even toss entire issues. When I have fewer magazines to consider, I slow my pace and read extra articles, enjoy the content, and learn better.

Less is more.

The same applies when I read the Bible.

When I’m on a read-the-Bible-in-a-year quest, I read faster and may even skim some sections (the genealogies and Mosaic Law come to mind). I must read three to four chapters a day, every day, if I am to conclude with the book of Revelation by December 31. In making my mad dash for the yearend finish line, there is no time to tarry. Slowing down or rereading a section is a luxury that time prohibits.

Most years, however, my daily Bible reading has a much less ambitious goal. Quantity is not important, quality is. I read shorter sections so I have time to savor the words, contemplate deeper meaning, and internalize its truth. I cherish those times for the relaxed attitude it provides and the more enjoyable journey that unfolds.

This year, I’m reading about women in the Bible and relish what I’m discovering.

Reading less, means learning more.

[This is from the October 2014 issue of Peter DeHaan’s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]

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