Tuesday, August 21, 2012
If my library could speak
When I entered seminary in 1972 book purchases were a major part of my life. We had to have some for our classes and more as we began to hear of authors and subjects. Someone told me I should not purchase a book I would only read once, so most of my were commentaries and study tools.
When I entered the ministry I was the fortunate recipient of several hundred fine books as retired ministers would give me parts of their library. I turned nothing down.
Over the years, many books would whisper to me to open them and I would find just the idea or thought I needed. Sometimes in periods of spiritual dryness they gave me messages I had no power to create myself. This is unfortunately true of most preachers from time to time. But thankfully it was early and rare and I found my voice and sermon prep becoming my own. The tools of study remain a part of every student of the world and person wanting to read widely.
As we moved the boxes of books were an enormous project to keep in our possession, and during crisis they often were stored in less than ideal places. But through thick and thin it continued to grow with the help of used book stores, Christian books stores, and Amazon. I have never counted them but estimated something over 6000 books.
In recent years I set some valuable resources to the mission field....but today I began a project to cull at least a third of those who I have outgrown, never read, or know need to be passed to someone at a stage in life I have passed.
It will get really ugly before I end up with a rearranged office and a feeling of manageable size. Pictures to follow.