Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thankful for books

I am thankful for books.

Books teach us truths, transport us to other worlds, and broaden our minds and understanding with perspectives we would otherwise never know.

The books we read have a great influence on whom we become.

In my older years, I mostly read the Bible, but I do read other books, and I have read many other books in the past.

In a soul-bearing move, I will show you pictures of some of my bookshelves.  This is threatening both because it tells you a lot about who I am, and also because the photography is particularly bad.  Part of the reason for the bad photography is that I don't put much effort into making my books look aesthetically pleasing on a shelf, and then when I go to photograph them, I don't know where to focus, so the overall sloppiness just piles up. 

Nevertheless, I am thankful for books, and here are some of my favorites:

Here is a group of books I love, mostly by John Piper and C.S. Lewis.
Honestly, if you had only the Bible, Piper, and Lewis, you would be fine.
Desiring God by Piper.
Mere Christianity by Lewis.

At the end of my set of Bible commentaries, 
some blessedly solid theology by Tozer and Packer, 
with a couple other authors thrown in.  
Packer's, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God 
is an important book that simplifies a difficult subject.

This shelf makes me smile, for the sheer randomness of it.

The Magic City by E. Nesbit (one of the few things our dog Piper ever defaced by chewing)
I am David by Anne Holm
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques
Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the Haystack Kitties by John R. Erickson
Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary
A book from the Series of Unfortunate Events series
A Hardy Boys Mystery
A couple of books full of history trivia to stimulate young minds
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Iran: The Coming Crisis by Mark Hitchcock (? -- haven't read it; sounds scary)
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Seeking the Face of God by Martin Lloyd-Jones
The Sovereignty of God by Arthur Pink
Spiritual Depression by Martin Lloyd-Jones
Amy Vanderbilt's Everyday Etiquette by Letitia Baldrige
Another history trivia book for kids
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

And they all sit on top of a massive art book full of Van Gogh prints, while The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle nestles in behind, perpendicularly because it is too wide for any shelf.

I guess I read theology and children's literature, mostly.  These are all in our study, upstairs, where I write on my computer.  We have three six-foot-tall bookshelves against the long wall in here, and it feels like a library.  I love it.

Downstairs, in our front hall, there is another bookshelf.

Originally this was meant to hold "real literature."  It is rather a random mix, but with less children's literature (maybe).  This is where I keep my Dickens, my George Eliot and my Jane Austen, and where I placed Tolkien between Chaucer and Homer.  But you will also find the Hunger Games trilogy on this shelf, The Book Thief, Ender's Game and two (??) copies of The Great Gatsby.

In a closer view, you also see a collection of Alan Bradley and a collection of Madeleine L'Engle.  Oh!  There's The Wind in the Willows and The Phantom Tollbooth.  Maybe I've placed as much children's literature here as anywhere; there's even a green anthology of it.

I am thankful for books.  I've made many friends through books, and there are a lot of people I look forward to talking with in heaven, to thank them for how their words have ministered to me on earth, even though we've never met.

Ruminating on what books mean to me, and how they have touched me, gives me a deeper understanding of what the Bible means when it calls Jesus, "The Word of God."  He is the greatest "book" of all.

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

I know I'm late in posting this and you may never read this comment....but here goes. As you probably know, I am a librarian at a high school. Books are pretty important to me. It's kind of funny, because at school everything is alphabetically organized...and some books are organized by the Dewey decimal system. At school and in other libraries I've worked at, everything must be neat and systematically organized or else I am very bothered by it. I've been known to be browsing the nonfiction section and instinctively know that a book has a mislabeled Dewey number and therefore has been put in the wrong place. However, at home my books are not organized in such a particular way. I still try to separate fiction from nonfiction...but I don't care if they are alphabetized by the author's last name.

Over the years, my reading has changed. I used to read more Christian books like Lucado, C.S. Lewis, etc....but now I find that I don't. I came to be a librarian late in life and now my spare reading is filled with YA books. I don't necessarily like this. YA books can often be quite dark or empty. Sometimes they are pretty entertaining and I can be quite riveted by them...but I don't get fed by them like I used to be by the books I read in the past. I miss that.

John Piper. I've never read any of his stuff, but I've heard so much about him. Now I am convinced that I must read him. Have you ever read Stepping Heavenward by E. Prentiss? It was first published in 1869 and is so good that it is still in print. It is a must read for Christian women. Read it with a pen in your hand so you can underline and take notes. I read it at least once every other year. I think I've read it about 4 times so far.