Let’s fill out the details of how you acquired the habit or beneficial practice you described in Module 1. Share your answers to the following questions:

– When did you first notice the desire for your “beneficial practice”?
I don’t think I realized I had a desire to read until I completed undergrad, chose not to pursue graduate studies, and realized that no one was expecting me to read anything. I’m beginning to wonder if I selected the type of “beneficial practice” these prompts had in mind, because I had already thoroughly acquired many of the skills related to this practice before I was ever consciously aware that it was something I “wanted” to do.

– How old where you?
I was 22.

– Where were you living?
Johnson City, Tennessee

– Name as many of the people who influenced your desire as you can.
In addition to those I mentioned in the 1.1 Discussion Forum on Feb 1, I should add my older sister. As a child, she may have had an adverse effect on my desire. She had the reputation of being a voracious reader and (while I never neglected the reading that was expected of me from school) I believe I distanced myself from reading for personal pleasure because I didn’t want to be too much like my sister.

– How long did the process take before you were confident in your new practice?
I am still not very confident. Three or four years ago I realize that my “I’d like to read that someday” list is so long that, even if I spent every waking moment of the rest of my life reading, I wouldn’t be able to get it done. Add to that that I often feel I must reread books the very moment I finish them. Sometimes even BEFORE I’ve finished reading a book I am distract by plans of what other books I must read so that I can return to the current one and read it for all its worth! It would appear that I’m a rather unfocused reader.

– How did you sustain your desire over that time? What people or circumstances helped sustain you?
I read best when I’m reading for someone else. Back in school, I was always reading so as to complete a teacher’s assignment. Today, I read a Biblical texts most carefully when I’m preparing to guide a church group to read that text.

– What other elements were involved that made your desire possible to sustain over time?
It seems to have less to do with my desire persisting over time than the (accidental) fact that I was repeatedly placed in circumstances in which I was expected to read.

– “If it weren’t for school and church and family I would not have acquired this practice.”