5 reasons you should write in your books

Marginalia!

I've been thinking recently on an important topic for bibliophiles: Should you write in your books? The answer varies for every person, but as for me and my tomes: Yes. Scribble away, especially with nonfiction. Here are five reasons I believe defacing an author’s work is warranted.1. Back up for your own faulty memoryThe first reason is memory. Theologian and controversialist Rousas Rushdoony reportedly read a new book every day. And not just read -- which, if true, is remarkable e … [Read more...]

Six books for every pastor’s library

6 Books for Every Pastor

Pastors buy a ton of books, according to a new survey by the Barna Group. On average pastors purchase about forty-five titles a year, considerably more than the general population. How many books are we talking about? Protestant congregations number about 315,000 in this country, Catholic and Orthodox another 25,000. That means pastors buy about 15 million books a year, more or less.As a publishing professional, let me just pause and say thank you to all the pastors out there. My family … [Read more...]

Giving thanks for C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis

Besides Thanksgiving, November 22 this year marks the 49th anniversary of C.S. Lewis' death.I read a newspaper obituary about Lewis that my grandmother kept. She preserved the entire paper. The event was buried in the back--barely two column inches if memory serves. The rest of paper, or at least the majority of it, was dedicated to reporting the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Both men died the same day. Coincidentally, both men answered to Jack.Though popular, this British author … [Read more...]

The redemptive quality of a story

Flannery O'Connor

In her essay “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction,” Flannery O’Connor writes that readers desire and even need something uplifting in the books that they read.“There is something in us,” she says, “as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored.”At Thomas Nelson, where I work, we strive to publish stories that are in some sense redemptive. It’s a priority at the acquisitions and editor … [Read more...]

3 ways to nourish your mind

Nourishing Your Mind

In our present time and culture it is easy to undernourish our minds. So many of our pursuits involve entertaining but generally unenlightening pastimes. It's the mental equivalent of high-calorie, low-nutrition food.But our intellects are meant for more than french fries, and ultimately such fare is unsatisfying. Here are three things I've found helpful in nourishing the mind. 1. Challenge yourself with books Reading is one of the most effective ways to begin. Start with the books … [Read more...]

The books you come back to

The books you come back to

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about books you come back to, books you re-read, books that become as familiar as old jeans. For him it was Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. You could hear the joy in his voice as he talked. He said I should read it and offered to buy the copy from me if I didn't like it -- sort of a money-back guarantee. … [Read more...]

Something my father gave me

By ginnerobot, Flickr

I have always loved books, an affection encouraged from my earliest years by my father. Our house was full of books, too many really. Books everywhere. Mom had her favorites and Dad his, mostly concerning theology, politics, and economics.My father was a Libertarian Party organizer when my parents first married, and the home shelves bulged with Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, Leonard Read, Faustino Ballvé, Wilhelm Röpke, and Albert Jay Nock. As … [Read more...]


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