If possible …

“Let every man, if possible, gather some good books
under his roof, and obtain access for himself and
family to some social library. Almost any luxury
should be sacrificed to this.”

— William Ellery Channing

A Passion for Books

“The moment a book is lent,” writes Anatole Broyard, “I begin to miss it. According to T. S. Eliot, each new book that is written alters every previous one. In the same way, each absent book alters those that remain on my shelves. The complexion of my library, the delicate gestalt, is spoiled. My mind goes to the gap as one’s tongue goes to a cavity. My security is breached, my balance tipped, my affections confused, my barricades against chaos diminished. Until the book is returned, I feel like a parent waiting up in the small hours for a teenage son or daughter to come home from the dubious party….”

“The most dangerous part of lending books,” he goes on to say, “lies in the returning. At such times, friendships hang by a thread. I look for agony or ecstasy, for tears, transfiguration, trembling hands, a broken voice — but what the borrower usually says is, ‘I enjoyed it.'”

I enjoyed it — as if that were what books were for.”

Why Read?

The of the primary purposes of this site is to encourage reading. This begs a very basic question…Why? For Christians, who are after all the the target audience for this site, one of the most important answers is that God has chosen to reveal himself to us through written text, the Bible. If we desire to grow and mature our relationship with him, reading that text is not optional. [Read more…]

Reading with Profit

“It has been the error of many ages, and still is of the present age, that to have read much is to be very learned. There is not, I may say, a greater heresy against common sense. Reading is doubtless necessary; and it must be owned, that eminence in knowledge is not to be attained without it. But two things are ever specially to be regarded on this topic, which are these: First, that more depends on the quality of what we read, than on the quantity. Secondly, more depends on the use, which, by reflection, conversation, and composition, we have made of what we read, than upon both the former.” (Professor Campbell, quoted in The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges)

In other words, the act of reading is only a beginning in our stewardship of the life of the mind. [Read more…]

Superman Returns

Well, I just got around to watching Superman Returns the other night, since we were home just relaxing and it happened to be on pay-per-view. At this point I don’t want to offer anything like a full review of the movie. I just want to reflect for a moment on the messianic theme that runs throughout. [Read more…]

Reading for the New Year

“Some Christians do not realize,” wrote Gene Veith, “that they are heirs to a great literary tradition. From the beginnings of the church to the present day, Christian writers have explored their faith in books, and in doing so have nourished their fellow believers. Some of the best writers who have ever lived have been Christians, working explicitly out of the Christian worldview. To their loss, many contemporary Christians are unaware of Christian writers ….”

To begin, then, to overcome this disastrous deficit in our lives and our life together, let me suggest a rather simple reading list for the new year, and ask that you truly commit yourself before God to reading it through. I guarantee you that it will transform your Christian life. [Read more…]