“Read this book through, and then read it again, and you’ll never be the same.” An old time book seller handed me a thick copy of Baxter’s Explore the Book
and offered his sage advice.
My Chicago friends are familiar with the Jefferson Park train/bus terminal. You might not remember a Christian bookstore a half-block south on Milwaukee Avenue. The store was enormously long, and relatively skinny. It was managed by an old-time bookseller.
I don’t want to reprise You’ve Got Mail… okay… maybe I do.
We have lost something wonderful by moving book sales to megastores like Costco, Walmart, and Target. We have lost the book-seller who reads the books he/she sells, and can direct you to the one you need.
When I went to that old-time bookstore, I didn’t just pick up a book, I picked up some pastoral care, too. I don’t remember the gentleman’s name; I can’t even remember the name of his store.
But he taught me…
- … that a genuine leather Bible will last longer than fake (“bonded”) leather. Plus it can be rebound.
- … that I should read and reread great books.
- … that a new Bible should be opened gently to avoid damaging the spine.
- … that when I touched the pages of a new Bible in a bookstore, I should the back of my hand (fingernails) to avoid smudging the pages.
- … that Explore the Book would familiarize me with the major themes of the whole Bible
He recommended Alan Redpath’s commentary on 2 Corinthians and J. Vernon McGhee on everything else. I wasn’t lost in a sea of options: I had a navigator. He was my own, personal old-time bookseller. He read them and he sold them.
[Click here to check out this great summation of every book of the Bible – pricey but worth it…] Baxter’s Explore the Book