I'm a firm believer that Christians need to read the bible on their own, preferably both individually and in their families. Bible intake received during church worship services and bible studies is good but not enough. One of the insufficiencies of relying on what you get when you're at worship is that the bible is often delivered to you in piecemeal form. For example, recently I preached from Jeremiah 23:1-6 and tied in Acts 20:17-38. Although, in my opinion, the sermon was solid and I explained the context of both passages, in reality the texts were still isolated from their larger contexts. (I have not been in the habit of preaching through entire books of the bible.)
What, then, is a bible reader (or preacher) to do? My suggestion is to read through entire books of the bible. This can be done in one time of reading for shorter books, or over several days for longer books. For example, a bible reader could probably read the entirety of Philippians (4 chapters) in one sitting, reading for 20-30 minutes. The Gospel of Matthew could be read over the course of one week (28 chapters; 4 chapters over 7 days). Even at a slower pace of just a couple chapters each day, major progress can be made through the bible by reading entire books.
One aspect of bible reading that I actually discourage is the reading of the bible through in one year. There is nothing wrong with this as a goal, and those who do this are to be commended for disciplined bible reading, but it is an artificial goal. There is no scriptural command to do this. Rather, what's important is simply that the bible is read.
Further, one problem with many "one year" approaches is that they break the bible up into pieces. On each day you will read a portion of the Old Testament, then jump into a portion of the New Testament, then back to the Old Testament for a Psalm and maybe a few Proverbs. For many readers, jumping back and forth like this creates difficulty in remembering what has been read. Far better, in my opinion, to pick one book--say, from the Old Testament--and read it to completion. Then pick another book--perhaps from the New Testament this time--and do the same.
It does not matter how long it takes you to "complete" the bible. We are commanded to grow in our faith through the word, not read it according to a certain timetable. Right now, a big chunk of my own bible reading is done in the context of a Life Transformation Group (LTG) that I'm in. In this LTG we aim to read about 30 chapters of the bible each week. That's about 4 chapters each day. At this clip, we ought to be able to read through the bible every year. But here's the kicker--as part of our agreement in our group, if one of us did not complete the reading for that week, we re-read the same section, assuming that God still intends to teach us something about it. In other words, it's not about how much we read but about how much God is teaching us as we yield to him through bible reading.
In this LTG, we assign our reading based on complete books of the bible. For example, we recently finished reading 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. The week we read these books (only 13 chapters), we read them each twice to bring us to 26 chapters. After we completed this reading, we read Ezra-Nehemiah (23 chapters). Now, we're reading several of the minor prophets. As we read, and re-read, complete books of the bible, we catch the context of each book and are able to see the larger themes that exist in each book of the bible that we might miss if we are reading only portions of a book before running on to another portion of the bible.
My general rule for bible reading is this: There is a reason we have entire books, letters, and oracles, rather than a collection of aphorisms. If God wanted us to have his holy word in the form of Proverbs, he could have given us a bible like that. But he didn't. He gave us a library of books. Perhaps the greatest way we can honor God's word in our reading is to respect THE Book by reading the books within that book.
Start today! Resolve that it's more important to learn from the bible than to read it according to an artificial time frame. Pick one book of the bible and begin reading. Don't move on from there until you finish it. When you finish, simply pick another book to read. In this way, you will learn the big-picture of God's grace spread among us through Christ.