Trying to Cut Back on Books

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I've promised myself that I'm going to cut back to buying just one book per month in 2022.

Of course, I'm probably lying to myself.

Hopefully.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Good luck my friend. I budget myself a modest book allowance each month and I'm currently in the hole through June of 2022. Lol.

Thankfully my kids are still fed and clothed, but if it comes down to it they might have to start skipping a meal.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I've promised myself that I'm going to cut back to buying just one book per month in 2022.

Of course, I'm probably lying to myself.

An interesting aside. I remember reading that Spurgeon's large library had more secular (for lack of a better word) titles than theology books.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
An interesting aside. I remember reading that Spurgeon's large library had more secular (for lack of a better word) titles than theology books.

From:

3. Read fewer books deeply instead of rushing through many.​

“Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them…digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be ‘much not many.'”
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
But…you’re bookslover.
He can still love books. Just fewer of them :)

I've actually been cutting back on physical books I own. I use the library quite a bit and so much is available for Kindle (which takes up far less physical space!).

I still have a wall full though...and not looking forward to moving them if I have to.
 

Brian R.

Puritan Board Freshman
I need to cut back, too. I can't read nearly fast enough to keep up with my purchases. Those are good tips from Spurgeon. I need to heed those.

Here's something I've noticed about myself, maybe others can relate... I'm drawn to large works much more than smaller ones. This is unfortunate because now I have a lot of thick books on my shelves that have bookmarks somewhere in the middle where I lost momentum and moved on to something else. That 800-page volume looks so attractive on the website, so I buy it; but then it just never quite gets finished...
 

Osnah

Puritan Board Freshman
I am not looking to cutting back on books, but I admire your willingness to do so. My wife wishes that I would cut back though. She gave me an inch on the living room bookshelf and I took a mile. However, now she is entertaining the idea of getting me another bookshelf. :D

I acknowledge that I will likely never read all of the books that I have. But I have told my boys that they are not just for me, they are for them as well. I look at my 'library' as a family library, even though I am the only one that really reads.

I need to cut back, too. I can't read nearly fast enough to keep up with my purchases. Those are good tips from Spurgeon. I need to heed those.

Here's something I've noticed about myself, maybe others can relate... I'm drawn to large works much more than smaller ones. This is unfortunate because now I have a lot of thick books on my shelves that have bookmarks somewhere in the middle where I lost momentum and moved on to something else. That 800-page volume looks so attractive on the website, so I buy it; but then it just never quite gets finished...

I am not drawn to necessarily large works, just books that I "must have". However, I am very much like you in that I start a book and abandon it at some point. I try to be disciplined in reading and finishing books. I have such a wide variety of books that I am almost 'paralyzed' with the question of "what should I read next?" I will go through each book and end up not reading anything.
 

SeamusDelion

Puritan Board Freshman
Good luck my friend. I budget myself a modest book allowance each month and I'm currently in the hole through June of 2022. Lol.

Thankfully my kids are still fed and clothed, but if it comes down to it they might have to start skipping a meal.
I absolutely love this comment! I just used my food money this month to buy a Gopro action camara for my street ministry so I know the feeing, many months ago, I however starred to by books, and now I understand your dilemma. but this comment is so legendary.
 

Brian T

Puritan Board Freshman
I had a similar goal set for myself at the beginning of December. I told myself then: "1 book per month for the foreseeable future" as I purchased the one book I had planned to buy for the month (Thomas Schreiner's The Joy of Hearing: A Theology of the Book of Revelation, which had just been released!)

Then, two weeks later, I found the first 3 of Richard Muller's 4-volume Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics on eBay.

Then, last week, I came across Joseph Morecraft's 5-volume Authentic Christianity: An Exposition of the Westminster Larger Catechism, in mint condition for $190.

Obviously, I had to pull the trigger on those.

Ergo, I just don't see this 1 book per month thing ever working out for me.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here's something I've noticed about myself, maybe others can relate... I'm drawn to large works much more than smaller ones. This is unfortunate because now I have a lot of thick books on my shelves that have bookmarks somewhere in the middle where I lost momentum and moved on to something else. That 800-page volume looks so attractive on the website, so I buy it; but then it just never quite gets finished...

I can relate to this. Before pulling the trigger on a new book I always look to see the page count and if it is less than 200 pages I generally won't purchase it. I tend to buy books for reference purposes to pull off the shelf when interested in a particular topic and I tend to not view books with shorter page counts as worth the money. There are rare exceptions, but I gravitate towards books that are 500 pages at a minimum.

My wife wishes that I would cut back though. She gave me an inch on the living room bookshelf and I took a mile. However, now she is entertaining the idea of getting me another bookshelf.

Another comment I can relate to. We have two book shelves in our formal dining room currently that are full of various books of mine. It makes for some interesting conversations when we have guests over. We're currently hosting some friends in our home and before they arrived I had to move several stacks of books out of the guest bedroom to accommodate them. Lol.
 

pilgrimmum

Puritan Board Freshman
He can still love books. Just fewer of them :)

I've actually been cutting back on physical books I own. I use the library quite a bit and so much is available for Kindle (which takes up far less physical space!).

I still have a wall full though...and not looking forward to moving them if I have to.
That's the problem, looking after so many books as you get older. I've started paring down.
 

Osnah

Puritan Board Freshman
Another comment I can relate to. We have two book shelves in our formal dining room currently that are full of various books of mine. It makes for some interesting conversations when we have guests over. We're currently hosting some friends in our home and before they arrived I had to move several stacks of books out of the guest bedroom to accommodate them. Lol.
Our living room has one wall with a recessed (built-in) bookshelf. I could fit several hundred books there, but my wife has always used it for decorations. I have slowly taken over to the point that she is thinking of getting me a bookshelf of my own.

I do have a wide-variety of books though. I have some 'nerd' books (video games, drawing, etc.), IT related books, classical literature, general history, and then my theological books. My wife tends to hide my nerd books.
 

timfost

Puritan Board Senior
I have a lot of books I haven't read yet, but I received a call from an old friend who was getting rid of his books-- for free! (I offered to pay and he refused.) I left a lot behind, but here is what I brought home.


Screenshot_20211230-121522.png
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
More than one Christian publisher has told me that many books are never opened by the consumer, and that most readers who start a non-fiction book never finish it, so that only about 10% get read cover-to-cover. I don't know where the publishers get those figures, but I suspect they are correct, or close. Personally, I read at least part of most books I buy, but I seldom end up reading the entire book.

When I work as an editor, a frequent goal these days is to help a book's opening pages be so compelling that the reader falls in love with the book before he can set it down for the first time. I explain to authors that if they want people to actually read their book, they can't let it start slowly.

Anyway, all of this means that many believers are probably buying far more books than they will ever read. But far be it from me to suggest this means they should buy fewer. Rather, they should buy better ones and read more, right?
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Why, another book just happened (heh) to show up on my doorstep today:

England's Second Reformation: The Battle for the Church of England, 1625-1662 by Anthony Milton; Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), xiv + 528 pages

What can I say? Books love me. It's not my fault!
 

therussellhome

Puritan Board Freshman
After having to make drastic cuts to my book collection twice because of moving, I made the switch to buying e-books almost exclusively. Calvin's Commentary in the palm of my hand vs a dedicated shelf. But i think my rate of purchase increased because of that while my rate of reading hasn't changed.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
If I live to be one hundred (I'm 73) I could not read all that I now have. It has to be something I consider essential for me to buy it now ... unless it is on the JFK assassination ... then I may not be able to resist.
 

alexanderjames

Puritan Board Freshman
I am doing this.. but did just order some more books.. second hand and in the hope they will last me and my potential children a lifetime. Time to read and to study and pray!

I commend your efforts! May the Lord bless your endeavours for His glory!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
If I live to be one hundred (I'm 73) I could not read all that I now have. It has to be something I consider essential for me to buy it now ... unless it is on the JFK assassination ... then I may not be able to resist.
Reading Manchester's "Death of a President" right now ;)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I have a lot of books I haven't read yet, but I received a call from an old friend who was getting rid of his books-- for free! (I offered to pay and he refused.) I left a lot behind, but here is what I brought home.


View attachment 8755
I did a double take. That looks like a snapshot of one of my bookshelves. But mine is plywood, not cardboard. ;)
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Reading Manchester's "Death of a President" right now ;)
I read that so many years ago I don't recall much. I'd highly recommend Sylvia Meagher's indictment of the Warren Commission, 'Accessories After The Fact,' Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds In Dallas, and his latest, Last Second In Dallas.
 
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