Here is a great article posted by Al Mohler that every book lover will understand.
Mohler quotes Parini who writes "What
interests me about other people’s books is the nature of their collection. A
personal library is an X-ray of the owner’s soul. It offers keys to a
particular temperament, an intellectual disposition, a way of being in the
world. Even how the books are arranged on the shelves deserves notice, even
reflection. There is probably no such thing as complete chaos in such
This is so true. I can usually discern much about a person without ever speaking to them, simply by scanning their bookshelf. By virtue of their calling, all pastors are to be lovers of great books that stir the
soul with greater, grander, better articulated thoughts of God and all
of His grandeur and glory. Thankfully there are many authors, past and present who provide me with such insight. Many get props here on this blog.
My love for books began after a year or so of running from God and His call on my life. I was completely living for me and what I wanted to achieve. God in His wonderful, patient, merciful grace, broke my heart over my sin, and in repentance and faith, I began to walk in obedience and submission to Him and His leading.
I would read Scripture in the mornings over coffee and spend time in prayer for me, my soul, and my family. In the evenings after Parker and Mary Paige were asleep, I’d go up to my office for a short while and read a chapter or so from a book about God to further deepen my knowledge of and love for Him. The first book I read was R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God. God used it to change me, and ultimately to convince me of His calling on my life to pastoral ministry.
It is very much like an x-ray of the soul. There are books that left such an impact on me and my ways of thinking, that I can still today pull them off the shelf, and turn to certain places where I highlighted sections, and scribbled notes in the margin, and be reminded of the stepping stones of a growing and deepening faith.
I hope you all will begin such a practice of regularly reading, good, weighty, meaty books (in addition to, not in place of Scripture) on God, salvation, sanctification, grace, obedience and be stretched, strengthened and transformed in your hearts and minds.
If you want some recommendations, simply post a comment to this post and I’ll be glad to respond.
(See also Justin Taylor’s list of quotes on Reading the Best Books).