Books! (1 of 2)

When the crew came from Gottwals Books headquarters to help set up the new Walls of Books store, one of the t-shirts they wore queried, “Why buy other stuff when you can buy books“?  Yeah!  I might appreciate the acquisition of some good fruits or a new vacuum cleaner, too, but new books are of more value, I figure.

For as long as I can remember, books have been important to me, although I have not been an avid reader, really.  I generally read to have read, or to learn, if you know what I mean.  But I do value books, and I love neat categories on my book shelves.

Recently, thanks to this new store opportunity, I think about books more often and more expansively.  I have traded in quite a few old ones that I don’t think I’ll need again, and I’ve selected a few new ones, too.  Fiction is not generally my thing, but I had previously acquired a copy of Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I took nearly a year to read it, but I finally finished it a month ago.  Although I now have ready access to all the top-selling novel authors, e.g., James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Andrew Greeley, Gillian Flynn, Nicholas Sparks, and (gasp) Debbie Macomber, my next fiction read will probably be another one I’ve had on the shelf for a while:  The Chamber by John Grisham, who is still the best novelist/storyteller I know.

For what it’s worth, here are several of the new ones I’ve taken home—some with my store credit, some on loan (it’s nice knowing the manager and the owner!), and a couple were gifts.

20161208_210610.jpg Through Painted Deserts is not exactly a “coming of age” story, but it has a youth-growing-up layer.  Reading this is as relaxing as it is constructional and inspirational.  Having read Blue Like Jazz a dozen years ago at the recommendation of a younger friend, I knew Donald Miller to be a good writer with something to say about life and God.  His style of relating the two is not exactly my own, but there’s something about him and his ways and his descriptions that makes me wish I were a little more free.
And what about a little light reading?  On a simple topic?  That no one has ever stumbled over or philosophized about?  Mark Vernon’s All That Matters:  God is sort of a brief, fair-minded history of various strands of theological philosophy, not really a theological investigation, and certainly not confined to Judeo-Christian ideas.  Still, this book now sits, having had a fairly thorough scan, among my more traditional books about God by J.I. Packer, A.W. Tozer, and others.
20161208_210556.jpg I always wanted my own Dead Sea Scrolls.  Not really.  But I figured it was a steal at $2.97 to have this early edition of a colossally important find of the middle 20th century.

I doubt I’ll ever read through it all; it’s a reference book more than anything else, and it’ll be better to look at a page in this book than to find some unreliable, hard-to-navigate web page.  Eventually I’ll have to do some spelunking of my own to find out whether this edition has an academic axe to grind, and how it was published so early, and so cheaply, to begin with.

I’m a sucker for a story about people who righteously rebel against the corrupt and/or stupid status quo.  This promises to be just that.  Never had heard of the Cathars.  Their label would appear to be related to “catharsis,” which has taken on a new meaning in current use but which derives from the ancient Greek root καθαρ- | kathar- which signified (roughly) cleaning/cleansing.

This ties in with my interest in biblical words, etymology, and linguistics in general.  And doesn’t it whet your appetite to know more about the Cathars?  I only hope their take on cleansing was more inward rather than finding its voice in such violent atrocities as the Inquisition or the Crusades.

img_20161211_205700_450.jpg This one was a gift . . . because everyone needs a Chilton’s manual for his old truck . . . if not for himself, perhaps the backyard mechanic he will someday hire will find it useful.

On a side note, I wish my little Chevy S10 were red—or, better yet, blue or green—but the white one was a good buy at $1500, and I’ve only put $300 into it.

I’ve also written some books.  You can find them here.  There are two on musical topics; one on the Christian assembly and one on Christian Worship, and I’ve made contributions to other books that also show up on the same page.  In planning stages are books on conducting and Matthew’s gospel, but those are many months or even years off.

In the next post on books, I’ll give some detail on my own magnum opus as well as sharing some more blurbs on books from the bookstore.

3 thoughts on “Books! (1 of 2)

  1. Anne Boyd 12/16/2016 / 2:08 am

    I love books! At one point, we had a row of beautiful oak bookshelves 26′ long, 6′ tall. We hand sanded and varnised with light oak finish. We donated most of them to Ghana Bible College before we returned to the mission field. Some of my favorite counselimg books that I gave away…I purchaed again…tho I knew most of the content, they are too valuable to be without.


    • Brian Casey 12/16/2016 / 7:40 pm

      Surely you inadvertently omitted a decimal point. 2.6 feet long, right? 🙂 26 feet! That’s a lot of shelving. Wow. I’m envious. I’ve divested myself of probably 1/4 of book holdings in the course of our last 2-3 moves, and now I’m acquiring a few in specific subject areas. Interesting that you’ve ended up purchasing a few again!


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