From time to time I am asked to suggest a pattern for daily Bible reading. I read at least two chapters each morning from the Old Testament (OT) and two each evening from the New Testament (NT). Each sitting takes about 15 minutes, or 30 minutes/day. That pattern gets me through the OT once a year (maybe 13 months if I am slow), and the NT three times in a year. I place a check mark in my Bible’s table of contents to help me keep track of what I’ve read and what I need to read.
For new readers, I recommend only partial readings of books such as Exodus, Numbers, and 1 Chronicles because the chapters that I don't list (below) contain pages of laws and family genealogies, etc, that can become tedious to read – and possibly discourage continuation. I deleted Leviticus from the list for the same reason. (There are many other similarly ‘tedious lists’ scattered throughout the OT that I did not list below. You can decide when you come to them whether to peruse those sections or examine them).
I am NOT suggesting those chapters/books are not valuable. I have read those entire books many, many times. But for a first-read, I think it more important to first get the “big picture.” On your second and subsequent readings year by year through the Bible, you ought to read the chapters you omitted here.
My Old Testament and New Testament pattern follows below. I suggest you read the books in the order I have listed them. Doing so will help coalesce your understanding of important events and people according to their (loosely grouped) historical context. You might also find it helpful to print the following list and keep it with your Bible.
(Note to Protestants: You will notice extra Old Testament books in the below list. Catholic Bibles include those books and I wrote this plan specifically for my Catholic brethren. However, this plan works equally as well for Protestants. Just omit those extra books from the list if you wish. The basic historical chronology of the remaining books is unchanged.)
The Jewish priest, Ezra, "Set himself to study the law of the Lord, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel" (Ezra 7).
May God help us do likewise.
Exodus (chapters 1-24, 32-34)
Numbers (chapters 11-25, 31-36)
(Leviticus) -- to be read on the second and subsequent times through the Old Testament
1 & 2 Samuel
Song of Songs
1 Chronicles 10-21, 28-29
1 & 2 Corinthians
1 & 2 Peter