The Hendricks Memorial Library. It almost a nice ring to it. Of course my personal library isn’t in memorial to any Hendricks that I’m aware of. And I really don’t think I could bring myself to give my library such a stuffy name.
Last night my wife and I rearranged our books, a collection that is well on its way to being a library. It takes up to full bookcases right now, with a few books spilling over. You could say we have a bit of a habit. Fortunately I can say I’ve read most of them. The few I haven’t read I plan to. I’m also proud to say that most of the books were bought used, for we certainly couldn’t afford to buy half these books new.
I like having a library. It’s nice to actually own some good books, to be able to turn to a shelf and run your finger along the bindings, looking for a good book for a sunny afternoon. I also appreciate the substance of our library. Lots of books by thoughtful Christians, who aren’t always known as Christians: Graham Greene, Frederick Buechner, Anne Lamott, Annie Dillard, Madeleine L’Engle, John Updike, Kathleen Norris, Flannery O’Connor and on and on. There’s also other authors that may not profess a faith in Christ, but do understand the importance of deep thinking and spiritual reflection: Jonathan Kozol, Maya Angelou, Barbara Kingsolver, and on and on. These are the kind of writers I admire, the kinds of writers who make a profound impact on our society. They’re a far cry from the Christian bookstore authors, the ones with lots of fame and adoration inside the church, and little if any impact in society at large.
It’s also a library full of kids books: Dr. Seuss, Louis Sachar, Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein. Sometimes you need to go back just as much as you need to go forward.
And hopefully it’s a library that will get much use.