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On Reading & Libraries

“It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to them, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.”
—Charles Spurgeon, Commenting and Commentaries

“That the average library of the Christian layman and of the minister of the Gospel is poor beyond words, is a lamentable fact. Many of the books are of such inferior authorship as to unfit them for even storage in any home of people either intelligent or hoping to be intelligent. Such books have drifted in because they are radiant with glaring and realistic pictures, or are bound in captivating sheep or calf, or are presented by well meaning friends, or have been bought in lots at auction under the hallucination of cheapness, or because of some other apology for the existence of the trash. If two thirds of the shelves of the typical domestic library were emptied of their burden, and choice books put in their stead, there would be reformation in intelligence and throughout the civilized world. A poor book is dear, and a good one cheap, at any cost. One’s best book is that which treats best the subject on which one most needs light, and which one can get only by planning, by seeking, and often by sacrificing.

…it is a friend for all seasons, and remains true to the eighties, and beyond, if they come. Better one shelf of such treasures than a shipload of literary driftings from the dead pyramids of publishers who sell slowly and of authors who fail quickly.”
—John Fletcher Hurst, Literature of Theology

“My books are my tools, and I use them. I cannot afford to be a book collector; neither the budget nore the diminishing shelf space permits such a luxury. I enjoy my library. Each book is a friend that converses with and teaches me. Better to have fewer of the best books than to clutter your shelves with volumes that cannot serve you well. Above all, love your books, use them, and dedicate all you learn to the service of Jesus Christ.”
—Warren Wiersbe, A Basic Library For Bible Students

“When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.”

—Paul of Tarsus, II Timothy 4:13

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
—Mark Twain

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.”
—Henry David Thoreau