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Monday, June 16, 2008

A Confession and a Challenge

My confession is this: I buy far more books than I read. I see a book and go, "Oooh, that looks good." Kind of like Homer Simpson's reaction to a strawberry frosted donut with sprinkles. Unlike Homer, who immediately devours the tasty delight, I buy the book, it sits on my table or bookshelf, and I take forever to get around to reading it. I'm getting frustrated with the amount of unread books I have. There are two small bookcases and two medium bookcases of books "to be read."

Now the challenge. I am thinking of putting myself on book restriction. I cannot buy anymore books until I read five from my shelves. That's not counting the books already ordered from Amazon (Defending Life by Francis Beckwith and On Pascal by Douglas Groothuis).

Do you think this is a good idea or a bad one? Do you think I can pull it off? How long until I fall off the literary wagon? Should I have a special dispensation category such as a new book on Pascal or something I am studying for church?


Bryan L said...

You should just start unloading your books on me. I have a better challenge (or an extra rule). If you don't have your 5 books read and you just have to get a new one then you have to give one (or how ever many you are away from 5) book to me (and none of that Christian living stuff either)!
; )

Seriously though (actually I was half serious before) you don't seem to read as much as you used to. It'd be cool to see you start reading more again.

BTW that Beckwith book looks good. I want to get it as well. I would also like to get the major pro-abortion book by Daniel Boonin to red in conjunction with Beckwith. Beckwith has a 30+ page review of Boonin's book on the internet. I can't stand Groothuis though and will never read anything from him (I've had a number of negative experiences with him in the past on his blog).

Good luck!


Pascalian Awakenings said...

I would not have bought the Groothuis if it was not about Pascal.

I'm looking forward to start reading more. I plan on finishing at least three books this week. Ravi's new one, a Willimon on proclamation, and Olson's new one.

It looks like I'm getting back into reading. I want to see those "to read" shelves with some space.

Pascalian Awakenings said...


Does it count if I give you a book from the Christian living section?

Doug Groothuis said...

Why would you not have bought my book if it was not about Pascal. Do you have something against me?

Pascalian Awakenings said...

I have nothing against you. I've never chatted with, and I've never read anything of yours either. To be frank, I know your name, but very little of your work. I came across something on Pascal that I do not own, and ordered it. I should receive it in a few weeks.

Bryan L said...

Wow. How odd.

Anonymous said...

Last month I popped in to Jim West's site, which I almost never do anymore (especially since I've mostly retreated from the blogging scene). He said you ought to only buy books that you intend to read more than once. That got me thinking. The next day my basement flooded, where I kept all my theological books. Thankfully none of the books were wrecked, but the bases of the booksheves were in standing water for several days. We moved everything out of the basement, causing me to rethink my principles on what books to own. I am starting to think that it is pointless for me to have a book on the shelf that I have never read. Jim says he has read some of all of his books and all of some of his books. I can't say that. I think I might try to purge and read until that is true of my library.

Which leaves me with a rather odd feeling. I got a $50 gift certificate to Amazon for my birthday, and I think I might just hang on to it for a little while. Of course it doesn't help that I just got a pile of books at 70% off from our local bookstore that just went out of business. If I hadn't had those books, I'm sure I could find plenty to read, but I have a lot of books already on deck to read. (Those are all in addition to the list I just published on my blog yesterday.)

Pascalian Awakenings said...

I read your book list, and wow...great books.

I need to really give some thought to Jim West's ideas.

I'm sorry to hear about your flooding.