Monday, August 2, 2010

Go to the Small Classics Section

If you are looking for a good book to read, my recommendation is that you head straight to the small classics section of your local Christian bookstore. Amid all the books written within the last five years, you will find a group of books that were mostly written 100-400 years ago. I find it sad that this section is so small; this tells us a lot about what people generally want to read.

The reason you should head to the classics section is that the books there have staying power. Most of the modern books in the store will be forgotten ten years from now. However, if a book remains in print several hundred years after it is first published, then you can almost be certain that it is worth reading.

My good friend Micah Thornton is moving this week to Louisville, KY to attend Boyce College. Since he won't have enough to read while there (ha-ha), I decided to swing by our Lifeway store to pick up a few books for him. I didn't even bother glancing at the "New Arrivals" section. Yuck. I headed straight to the classics. It was easy to find good books there. I purchased these four:

Joy by Charles Spurgeon

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I didn't want to only buy books written long ago. There are, after all, some good books penned today. I have found the Jerry Bridges almost always writes great books on sanctification. Therefore, I bought Micah a copy of The Practice of Godliness.

As modern Americans, we tend to think that anything newer is automatically better. This is far from true when it comes to books, especially Christian books. If you want to be certain of buying a good book, try some Christian classics. There is a reason they are called classics.


Nauvoo Pastor said...

I commend your thoughtfulness for your friend. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of choice reading material as well. I have found this to be true for myself and continue to recommend some of the older classics to my friends.

Eric said...

Nauvoo Pastor,

I wish it hadn't taken me so long to figure this out. The classics, even though sometimes difficult to read, are almost always beneficial. I certainly can't say that of most modern books.