Sorry, nothing to stir the pot today. I don’t know if you buy used books, but, like a microbrew, it’s a good habit to acquire. When I was a seminary student, my professor, Murray Harris, gave us all a list of exegetical commentaries and I began looking for them. Every fall a few of us drove up to Grand Rapids to spend the entire day shopping for books for which we didn’t have the money.
To make matters easier but no less expensive, I was prepared. I made up a little notebook with authors listed in alphabetical order. Most stores have books in categories (say OT, NT, Theology) but the books are shelved in alphabetical order. I had major names on my list, and I could get through the books quicker by looking for names rather than looking at each book — and many of you know that old books have rubbed spines that make names blurry and used book stores have bad lights that make rubbed spines with blurry names blur even the youngest of eyes.
When we were in England, I made my way into lots of used book stores, carrying my little notebook, and eventually found a few boxes of books I shipped home. I continued to go to Grand Rapids when we moved back to the midwest, but now there is the internet. And I can’t think of the last time I went to Grand Rapids (maybe my first or second year at North Park) for used books.
If you have suggestions for good internet used book stores, pass them along. (Stores should avoid advertising here as it could be read as spam.)
My two favorites are www.abebooks.com and www.bookfinder.com. I like abebooks.com the most, in part because I can sign in for used books not now available. If the book suddenly becomes available through their internet connections, they notify me. Like this one this week:
Your Want: # A14501925
Author: Harris, Harriet A.;
Title: Fundamentalism and Evangelicals;
Publisher: Oxford University Press;
We have matched your Want with one or more books now available on our Web site, including the following (please note that only the lowest and highest price matches are displayed):
1. Fundamentalism And Evangelicals,
Harris, Harriet A. (Lecturer In Theological Studies, University Of Exeter)
Oxford University Press, UK 1998 Oxford Theological Monographs. Off-site delivery item – usually 1-2 weeks extra, but can be more., 1998, 0198269609, 0198269609, BRAND NEW HARDBACK. 214 X 138mm. 392 pgs. Religion. ‘Fundamentalism’ is a label used often pejoratively of religious conservatism. Evangelicals are growing in number and power around the world and are frequently regarded as fundamentalist.
Bookseller: TheBookCom, Horsham, WSx
Price: £ 83.67 (US$ 150.91)
I’d like to have this book, but I’m not THAT interested. One hundred and fifty dollars, plus shipping I guess, for 214 pages of historical detail about fundamentalism and evangelicals. That’s about 75 cents per page! Sorry, Harriet, you’ve got a good book, but I wouldn’t pay that much to play golf.
There’s a parable there, somehow. There’s a better way to spend that money.