Friday, July 29, 2011

Do I Have Too Many Books?

I have too many books. That’s what I was told when Hannah and I moved at the beginning of July 2011. Too many books.

I didn’t count them, but I know I only have two bookcases worth. Only. Okay, two bookcases is a lot, but I don’t compare myself to the average “lite” reader. I compare myself to the average pastor, and I know he’s got a bunch of books. Were he to look at my bookcases, he would scoff and say, “You want to see a real bookcase? Come check out my book lair.”

Pastors have book lairs. Unless the church provides him with an office roughly the size of half the auditorium (sanctuary for you older folks), your pastor has a book lair. It’s a secret location in his house, usually the basement, where he keeps his treasures.

I’m not a pastor. I don’t have a book lair. But since I’d like to be a missionary someday overseas, the thought of spending hundreds of dollars to ship and or store all my books seems like a waste, especially the books that end up in storage. Inaccessible.

Because of this I’ve decided to implement a new policy for myself (Hannah is as-of-yet exempt from this policy). I’m going to get rid of one more book than I buy. So if I pick up one, say goodbye to two. If I pick up two, say goodbye to three.

I haven’t been under this new policy for long, but I’ve already noticed how easy it is to put books back on the shelf, even at Goodwill, where all books are under $1.99. So far I’ve said farewell to a couple Bibles (technically, I only need two—Spanish and English). A business book was on the last stack, along with one called Shields of Brass or Shields of Gold?, which has been out forever yet doesn’t have a single review on Amazon.

I have one exception to this rule. I can get all the digital books I want. A missionary friend of mine wrote a blog article about how much he loves his Kindle, so I have first-hand witness to the usefulness of not having to ship your books overseas or leave them in storage.

Even though I don’t have a Kindle yet (I’m waiting for the next generation, rumored to be touch screen and possibly color), I do have the app on my PC, which I’ve been using to enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (a trick to get me to read the original), and I will be using it for a couple books for my Hermeneutics class.

As I say farewell to more and more books, I’m saying hello to the digital world.

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