Saturday, August 25, 2007

WHY BUY BOOKS?

I was wondering why we buy books, when the Internet is so much more convenient. We can browse page after page of text and graphics instantly. Why waste precious money? I heard one radio commentator say his bookcase was a "shrine" to old media (i.e., books, etc.)

Well, whenever I say, "Well," that usually means I am about to engage in some thoughtful summarizing or speculation. Actually, it just means I'm tired of pursuing that line of thought and would like to move on to something else, especially since I have nothing else to do at the moment. But I digress.

Books have a certain appeal that reaches a tangible need in our lives, that of physical interaction with the universe (solid matter). Book Technology, per se, is almost "as old as the hills, and twice as dusty." They possess a lasting, enduring quality of life all to themselves, a product of human and machine (witness Gutenburg's press).

Another appealing aspect of books is their legacy. Authors live and die, but their words still speak. In the Bible's book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, verse four says, "And through his [Abel's] faith, though he died, he still speaks." This speaks primarily of God's people leaving a legacy of faith, as well as of good works (see James 2:14-26). 

In books we may find a legacy of good works encapsulated in a good testimony. Of course, no one except God is perfect. But for now we have His Book (the Bible) and those of others who have followed Him faithfully. We may also witness the testimony of unbelievers who did not follow Christ, both in the Bible and outside of it, as a warning to us who do not wish to repeat their demise.

As I said earlier, I can wind up this discussion by saying, "Well," and summarizing my comments with a cliche such as, "Read any good books lately?"

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