Why You’re Not Reading your Bible And How to Start


Read Through The Entire Bible – A Simple and Painless Plan you can start today

Have you started one of those Read-through-the-bible plans? Did you finish it?

Sadly, I never have.  I wanted to, but no matter which one I tried I never made it to the end.

And here’s why:

Some of those bible books are seriously lengthy. In particular, the first five books.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy…..  

The Pentateuch takes up some serious biblical real estate!

And, they all come at the beginning of the bible. 

Where do you start when you feel defeated before you even begin?

It’s difficult if not impossible to read through one of these books in one sitting.  There is such precious little time in our days to sit with our bibles.  With, work, homeschooling, and being a mom the interruptions pile up and it can take days or weeks sometimes to get through just one book and it feels like a losing battle.

I’ve read all the way through Genesis several times, happily finished Exodus (because, come on I was on book 2) and gotten bogged down somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers.  And if you didn’t already know, they can be ahem… a little dry.  

It would be about this time that I would realize I’d only read 3 of the 66 books, give up and head to the new testament or somewhere else. 

It felt like failure. 

For years, I have consistently read the Psalms every morning as part of my prayer time and read sections of almost every book, but never the whole thing in one systemized way. I knew God wanted me to read all of my bible and I also knew he’d give me the tools to do his will. Those books contain God’s words to me and I don’t want to miss a single one.


May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. Hebrews 13:21


So, I set out to find a way to do it that would keep me going to the end.

I wanted to quickly feel a sense of accomplishment.

I wanted to feel like I was getting somewhere so I could cheer myself on when I felt daunted by looking at the bible as a whole. I needed more momentum before getting to these wordy giants. Hello, I’m looking at you Genesis.


It had to be simple

Easy for me to remember where I was if I hadn’t read in a few days and quick to pick back up again when life got in the way. With no confusion about exactly what I had read and still needed to read.



Here’s what I came up with.

Read through the bible by book size, shortest to longest.  

That’s it. Super simple.  My theory on this is that reading the shortest books first would create a sense of accomplishment. It would be hard to stop by the time I reached Leviticus or Numbers.  My earlier success would push me on to complete my goal.

It’s been working for me. I started this back in January as a New Year’s Resolution. I want to complete the entire bible by the end of the year. I’m 40 books in and while the longest are still ahead, I feel motivated every time I look at my list and all I’ve accomplished this year. I’ve even stopped a few times for several weeks and wasn’t deterred because I keep my list right in my bible and can open it any time and just start again and know right where I am and all I’ve already done.

This is exactly what you need if you’re looking to get motivated to read through the pages of the bible book by book.  And, if you’re like me and have started and stopped multiple times. You will be able to read the first few books in one sitting if you like.  They are so short.  I promise getting those first few under your belt will encourage you to keep going.

I have created 2 variations of this Read-Through-the-Bible-Plan as free printable checklists you can find them in our FREE Resource Library. You can access them by clicking the button below to subscribe.

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Choose which plan best fits your goals. I have the entire bible organized by book size and I also have the Old testament and new testament as separate plans if that makes more sense to you. Each variation includes a master checklist with every book listed plus a series of checklist pages with each book listed and a date started and date finished field for you to fill in.

The printable is a simple and easy way for you to keep track of your progress and see at a glance how much you’ve already accomplished.  Those first few books are going to go quickly.


The Nitty Gritty

A note on how I chose the order of books in my plan:

Ordering books from smallest to largest was a simple idea, but In my initial research I came upon many ways in which these calculations are made. There are very technical answers to the questions of which books are shortest and which are longest, there are so many versions of the bible not to mention people who use the original Greek and Hebrew texts to find the length of each book.  

While its interesting to know facts like words per book, I didn’t need to be so exact to come up with my list.  

Does it really matter if I read Psalms before Genesis or vice versa?

They’re both seriously long, so for my purposes I grabbed my bible and just organized by number of chapters. I wanted to have a general idea of each book’s length to make my list. I just needed to know an approximate size for each book as compared to the others. And, using the chapter count in each book gave me this number.

Where books had the same number of chapters I just went in biblical order, i.e. Old Testament book before New Testament.

Last, I moved 1sts and 2nds to their chronological order. I guess it’s the perfectionist in me trying to get out, but I just didn’t like the idea of reading 2nd Samuel before 1st Samuel just because it has a few less chapters in it.

ENTIRE Bible Plan – Old & New Testament Together

This is the master checklist and there are checklist pages that include a date field. There is a black and white version as well. 




Pictured below are the master checklists for the Old Testament and New Testament Plans. The download for these also comes with a multi-page checklist and a date field. There is a black and white version for these as well.



Click the Button below to subscribe to our e-mail list & Gain Access to our Subscriber only FREE Resource Library where you’ll find each of the bible plans shown above plus other great resources.  


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I hope you have fun with these printables.

Happy reading,




This week I linked up with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, A Wise Woman, and Missional Woman at Faith Filled Friday. 


Posted in Bible Study, Encouragement for Christian Women, Encouragement for Moms.

Hi, I'm Heidi a homeschooling Mama just like you. I'm passionate about simplifying your homeschool days and providing quality resources and support to your homeschool family. We are a full time RVing family roadschooling across the United States, learning through experiences.


  1. Heidi, what a great reading plan! It would be encouraging to knock out those shorter books. I follow a plan where you read in 4 different places each day: O.T., Psalms, Proverbs, and N.T. It’s usually 2 chapters in the old, maybe a half a psalm, a couple of verses in Proverbs, and a half a chapter or so in the new. That way you don’t get bogged down in those drying books. But your plan is a fresh way and I like the idea of reading through one book at a time. I may have to try that next year.

    • I’m so glad you liked it Donna! It seems to be the best way for me to consistently see progress. Your plan really would help to get through those dry parts:)

  2. This is a great idea. I have read thru Proverbs and Psalms consistently this year and done specific studies in other books in preparation for teaching my weekly Sunday school lessons. I find that reading the texts and preparing the lessons each week is like it’s own devotional program. 🙂

    • Hi Missy! I read in the Psalms every day as well as part of my prayer time. It’s such a great place to go for regular encouragement. I need to spend time in Proverbs more often. My plan is an effort to get me through those books I had only read in part and also to read some of those more obscure books that I don’t tend to get into, it has really been good for that so far. I know what you mean about preparing lessons becoming a devotional time for you. I have found the same thing through my homeschooling bible lessons for my kiddos. God really doesn’t waste a minute of our time spent reading the bible;)

  3. I appreciate your honesty in Bible reading, Heidi. I enjoyed your post and I will be sharing it tomorrow on social media. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • I’m so glad you liked it Aimee! Thank you so much for sharing my post. I love the community at Grace and Truth and feel blessed to have found a great group of women seeking Jesus in their daily lives.

    • I’m glad you liked it Connie! I love making a list and checking things off of it, so this works similarly for me;) Thanks for the words of encouragement.

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