Posted by: Billy Marsh | June 3, 2008

Who reads 500 books a year?!

D. A. Carson, that’s who.

D. A. Carson

I stumbled upon a blog that featured some audio from a recent conference called Clarus which was headed up by Carson and Michael Horton. In a short clip from one of the panel discussions, someone asked Carson about his reading habits. He then proceeded to answer by stating that he reads about 500 books a year. But, he qualified that statement by claiming that there’s reading and then there’s reading. Anyway, I was blown away and immediately began to make myself feel better about how much I read a year by ascribing Carson’s reading habits to two viable causes that may account for the consumption of that much material. One is that he doesn’t sleep. And second, if he does in fact sleep, then Carson must be an alien. Yet, in my heart of hearts, I know that neither of those two possibilities are probably true and that he is in truth a human who does sleep.

In all seriousness, I would recommend everyone who is serious about reading to pick up Mortimer Adler’s classic, How to Read a Book. I bought it last summer and read most of it, and his instruction has helped me consume double, if not triple, the amount of the material I am able to read, remember, and comprehend. I’m sure that Carson probably uses several of Adler’s techniques as evidenced in his statement asserting that there are different levels of reading. Whether or not 500 books a year is a realistic goal for anyone else besides Carson, you can definitely see the fruit from his scholarly devotion in all of his work which is always some of the most valuable and sought after books and commentaries in evangelicalism. 

  • Click here to go to Denny Burk’s blog that featured this audio clip. He has the link all set up for you to go straight to this discussion and Carson’s comments.  
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