I’ll tell you mine…(a post, with questions, for bibliophiles)

I nurture a few interests in my reading and book-collecting…in generally this order

–Books published by Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, McQuiddy Printing Company (both of Nashville), and F. L. Rowe (out of Cincinnati).

Festschriften for Restorationist scholars (Restorationist broadly construed here; I have a particular interest in Churches of Christ scholars publishing in and being honored by festschriften).

–Biblical and theological scholarship produced by Churches of Christ writers.

–Nashville life, history, culture…even historical geography.


Chime in…what are your collecting interests?  or at least, what tends to fill your shelves?

10 thoughts on “I’ll tell you mine…(a post, with questions, for bibliophiles)

  1. Mac,
    I have basically bought books that would help me teach courses for our adult Bible classes. Some of those are reference works, commentaries, and topical works. Most are published by the major publishers Eerdmans, Bakers, Zondervan, etc.

    I have been looking more into works published by ACU Press, Gospel Advocate, College Press, and Chalice Press.

    Lately, I’ve been reading some older authors of our movement like Boles, Styrgley, and McGarvey.

    Keith Price

    • Keith, I do the same for biblical studies and theology. Although I rely heavily on the Div School library at Vanderbilt. If I purchase a book in these areas it is usually a reference work. I can’t remember the last time I bought a commentary.

  2. A nice list. Sounds interesting.

    A Churches of Christ preacher type, I buy and read stuff in the area of, what else?, biblical studies.

    However, a special interest right now is the Wycliffite movement in England. I started this a few months ago because I think we preachers should probably use the upcoming 400th anniversary of the King James Bible to talk about its history and the history of English Bible translation in general. At this point, I’m happily stuck in a study of the political, social and economic contours of the life of John Wyclif and his followers, the Lollards. Normally, it’s told as a religious tale. It’s that and more, and I’m taking a look at the “more” part.

    So, the writings of Wyclif (in English) and books about the late Middle Ages in England are a special interest. One of the top Wycliffite scholars these days is Anne Hudson, whose work is positively brilliant. Anything by her is on my Christmas wish list.

    • Funny you bring up English biblical translation. I’ve been thinking of proposing a quarter of classes at church about the history of the English bible. I agree with you that the anniversary is a perfect time to explore this in church classes. Is this a course you’ve taught before? I’m interested in a syllabus or outline.

      How’s the New Year’s resolution about reading old books holding up?

  3. Gary from Red Boiling Springs asks:

    I would like to know the size of your library.

    Gary Wilder
    Red Boiling Springs, TN

    He posted it as a comment to my ‘About’ page. I reposted it here since we’re talking books. I estimate that I have at or under 2000 books on the Restoration movement. I have in the areas of biblical studies, church history and theology close to 1500 or so, maybe 1800???

    • After a while, we don’t count them; we weigh them — especially when we move!

      Then some of us work in libraries, so we can move them some more.

      God’s Peace to you.


  4. My year of old(er) books was a good discipline. I wound up reading several things that I’d been saying for years I should read some day.

    I know that 50 years isn’t exactly a long time, but that’s where I drew the line. It had to be at least that old. So, along with Augustine and Wyclif, I got to include C.S. Lewis and A.D. Nock, etc.

  5. Having just moved to Tanzania in March, my wife and I downsized our collection a great deal. The bulk (mass and numbers) of it were books passed down from COC preachers cleaning out their libraries. Dozens of those were printed pre-1930 and probably five or six from the 1800’s. I don’t know anything at all about old religious books and commentaries, but the reason I write is, Mac, if any of those might be of use and/or interest to you, I don’t think they’ve all actually been gotten rid of.

    As for my library, these days it consists of whatever someone stateside reads and likes enough to tell me I ought to read it — and likes ME enough to actually send it this way…

  6. My library is scattered into a bunch of different categories since I’ve been largely educating myself while waiting for our eventual move to Nashville to go back to school. Lately, though, I’ve been focusing on books and materials related to the Christian Connexion. I’ve been aided in this endeavor greatly by using Google Books, my printer, and my iPod since I can’t seem to find most of the things I want at any reasonable price on the market.

    Digital books don’t really weigh anything or take up space either unless printed, so that’s a plus.


  7. Whenever anything old (50 years is a good cut off) related to Restoration churches crosses my path, it’s going on my shelf. The reprints of Lard’s Quarterly were some of my favorites. I don’t have a lot to show for it, but what I have is nice. I actively collect Modern Library, books about books (several subjects within), a particular series of Penguins during WWII and a little Lakeside Press. Printing history, history of the Press. Also biblio-mysteries. I also have collections of work related books for work (museum/ archives stuff).


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