Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Giving Away Books

If you love books as much as I do, then Gordon MacDonald's agony in parting with his books will resonates with you.

The agony of downsizing my bookshelves.
Gordon MacDonald | posted 7/20/2009

Ditching Friends at the Fair

Three Summer activities unite almost all New Englanders: following the Boston Red Sox, eating ice cream at the local dairy bar, and going to the annual town fair. I love the first two but dread the third.

I dread the town fair because … well, perhaps you'll understand why if I tell you what my wife, Gail, said to me a few days ago: "Next week I want us to donate 500 books from our library to the used-book sale at the fair. So you might want to go through your books and pick out what you don't think you'll need anymore."

If you love your books as much as I do, you understand how impossible it is to imagine any book in your library that you'll not need anymore. Even lending a book to a friend is a personal crisis for me. It tests my Christian generosity. I want to encase a loaned book in something similar to what the banks use when they surrender money to a bank robber--something that explodes with indelible ink if the book is not returned in a week.

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Blogger Paul Long said...

But it is good for the soul especially if your books bless others.

It was hard for me at first but I am glad I gave away almost half my library of books to help build up a friends church library. Sometimes when I want to refer to a book, I realise that I do nto have it anymore ... and a twinge of regret crosses my mind and I wish I did not give some of the books away (especially some of my commentaries and reference books).

But then I realise my books are blessing others.

Last year I fored myself to give away 10 boxes of classic books (many out of print) given to me by my church's former pastor. Reason was that I knew I would hardly use any of themn unless I decided to go for further studies. And even then it would only bless one person (me). So I arranged with Kar Yong to pass then on to STM.

Last week a church member after his return from Malaysia asked our former pastor (I was there) if he had donated some books to STM! Reason, his brother in law was doing his Masters there and one of the books he was using for his thesis had in it the words "Donated by Dr. ____ ____" It was a great confirmation to both of us that I did the right thing in giving the books away.

It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive :-)

6:38 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

Thanks Paul for sharing. It is difficult for me to give away books. My books are my old friends,companions and comforter.

I must learn to give away books as you do.

12:56 PM  
Blogger pearlie said...

Ah!!! A nightmare!! Wake-up! :D
... Maybe when I'm older ... Maybe when I've read them all ... Maybe ...

8:24 AM  

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