A Confessed Bibliophile

“Devotions From the Heart”
“A Confessed Bibliophile”
March 2015

Are you a bibliophile?  A reader, lover and collector of books old and new? Is your library and bookshelves overrun with books so much so that you have to decide which ones to give away, share or keep? And how about those eBooks which are now included in your library of books to read that includes the tools of readers, iPhone, iPad and more?  If that is the case my friends, you are a bibliophile.

There is great joy in reading.  One of the best things about books is the ability to read about past histories, life, the world and extraordinary things.  As Christians, not only do we have the most important Book of books, the Bible, which we love and read daily, but also wonderful theological and practical living books of past and current theologians.  We can glean wisdom from them and to know that they, like us, all walk the same narrow path in this life on the road to our Heavenly City.  We learn and grow from them so that we, as readers, can share that knowledge with others and future generations.

I am, as you know, a bibliophile to a fault. My libraries (yes libraries) and book stacks sometimes drive me a little crazy because they do not get read fast enough and just when I make a dent in them, another good book review, suggestion for reading, a book sale of theological treasures or my pastor sends out a “must read” post on book reviews, and my promise that I am not-going-to-buy-a-book the next time I am in a book store or online shopping falls by the wayside.  If you look at my “Tolle Lege” page you can see I have been very busy reading and it seriously needs updating with an inventory of new collections.  With the addition of my iPhone and iPad apps “libraries” and computer filled with fat and happy “books to read,” I will soon need new glasses and bookshelves so I can continue my love of collecting and reading good books.

One more thing that is special to me.  There is really something wonderful about reading a “true” hardback book in a cozy corner and turning the paper pages.  Much like the leather-bound Bible in your hands, you can never replace a good thing with a substitute.  For convenience, yes, but for the true bibliophile, only that library, book stack, hardback book in hand will do (or, at least I think so).  How about you? _TG/RW

Ecclesiastes 12:12
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

~ ~ ~

“Of making many books there is no end; many books, it seems, were written in Solomon’s time; there was the same itch of writing as now, it may be; but what was written was not to be mentioned with the sacred writings, were comparatively useless and worthless. Or the sense is, should Solomon, or any other, write ever so many volumes, it would be quite needless; and there would be no end of writing, for these would not give satisfaction and contentment; and which yet was to be had in the word of God; and therefore that should be closely attended to: though this may be understood, not only of making or composing books, but of getting them, as Aben Ezra; of purchasing them, and so making them a man’s own. A man may lay out his money, and fill his library with books, and be very little the better for them; what one writer affirms, another denies; what one seems to have proved clearly, another rises up and points out his errors and mistakes; and this occasions replies and rejoinders, so that there is no end of these things, and scarce any profit by them; which, without so much trouble, may be found in the writings of wise men, inspired by God, and in which we should rest contented; and much study is a weariness of the flesh; the study of languages, and of each of the arts and sciences, and of various subjects in philosophy and divinity, particularly in writing books on any of these subjects; which study is as fatiguing to the body, and brings as much weariness on it, as any manual and mechanic operation; it dries up the moisture of the body, consumes the spirits, and gradually and insensibly impairs health, and brings on weakness, as well as weariness. Some render it, “much reading”, as Jarchi, and so Mr. Broughton; and Aben Ezra observes, that the word in the Arabic language so signifies: the Arabic word “lahag” signifies to desire anything greedily, or to be greedily given and addicted to anything (m); and so may denote such kind of reading here, or such a person who is “helluo”, a glutton at books, as Cato is said to be. And now reading books with such eagerness, and with constancy, is very wearisome, and is to little advantage; whereas reading the Scripture cheers and refreshes the mind, and is profitable and edifying. “_John Gill

“Devotions From The Heart” by TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen
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