Okay, as far as I know, Dave Ramsey never created a reading method. But, he is the inspiration for a method that I am using. You see, I have a problem. I begin reading a book, usually non-fiction, and another one on my shelf, or on my library’s shelf, catches my eye. I think, “Oh, I’ll just read one chapter.” Or, “I’ll skim it and put it on one of my reading lists.” But that chapter, or that skimming-of-chapters, turns out to be so riveting that I can’t put it down. I therefore become indebted to two books. Then, yet another one grabs my attention and the process repeats itself. It can even three-peat. I am currently reading four books. I finished one last week, otherwise I’d have five going. That’s what I refer to as “reading debt”.

My current debt includes the following:

The Life of Washington – Anna C. Reed

You’ve Got a Book in You – Elizabeth Sims

The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages – Susan Wise Bauer

The Heaven Tree Trilogy – Edith Pargeter (This is technically three books. Yikes!)

The book on the bottom is not on my on my debt list. It’s a reference book, which I absolutely adore, called Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. It is brimming over with book recommendations. I give it five (hundred) stars.

I just finished reading aloud Hank the Cowdog to the kids, and I’m about to begin reading The Peterkin Papers.

Whenever I get into reading debt, and it happens frequently, I use the same method that Dave Ramsey advises to eliminate financial debt. He says we should pay off the smallest of our debts first, then apply the money that went toward that bill and add it to what you are paying on your next smallest, and so forth. I think he calls it a “snowball method” or something like that.

I’ve discovered that it works on books, too! I’m currently applying it to my stack of “to-reads”. I’m within 80 pages of finishing up one book in my pile. When I’m done, I’ll move to the next book which I am closest to finishing, and so forth. That doesn’t mean I won’t sneak some peeks at the others in my pile along the way, after all, I like variety and I do have a lengthy book list.

If you’re in a heap of reading debt like I am, perhaps Dave Ramsey’s method can help. Instead of monthly payments, I suggest daily installments of time – they really add up! And this is one kind of payment which should be fun to make, preferably with a cuppa java nearby.


4 thoughts on “Dave Ramsey’s Reading Method

  1. Carolyn Courtney says:

    Cute idea! I am not in as great a “debt” as you, but I do usually have at least two books going with others tempting me along the way.
    Love from your fellow reader,


    1. Thanks! 🙂 I managed to finish one up yesterday, so that’s progress. Now to resist further temptation…


  2. Hey there, Valerie! I’m thrilled that you’re reading ‘You’ve Got a Book in You’. (Seeing that you are a serious Christian, I hope the several occasions of profanity in the book it have not put you off…) When you finish it, I’d like to hear your opinion of it, good or bad. I too listen to Dave Ramsey, and I think your ‘reading debt snowball’ is a fun idea. Have you called in to tell him about it? I think you should! Would you please keep me posted on your writing?


    1. Thank you so much for writing me, Ms. Sims. I just finished the book – it was the one nearest to the finish line in my “debt plan” (Ha). I enjoyed it very much and appreciate the way you make novel writing less daunting. I have finished a novel, but it’s horrible. I have some ideas for a new story, and I plan to use your “storm writing” and the touchstones (and several other suggestions from the book) to flesh out this new idea. Thanks for the suggestion about calling Dave Ramsey! I hadn’t thought of that. I was a bit disappointed by the use of profanity, but I was looking for instruction and that’s what I got – lots of good instruction! Thanks, again! Your comment has made my day! 🙂


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