Book Purging #5 cheered on by PPI’s Executive Vice-President

Since we couldn’t get out much yesterday with all the snow, ice and blowing, we (Jennifer & I) tackled my office … again. When I get in the mood, Jennifer is my strongest ally. She can travel lightly, and when it’s time to clean things out, “Look out, here she comes.” Yesterday was one of those look-out-here-we-come days. I am not a pack rat, and am in well into my 5th book purging from my shelves since I started in campus ministry here at the University of Illinois decades ago.

I have pulled more than 100 books from my shelves this time, and I am not done yet. This is my lightest purge to date.  My estimate is that I have removed more than 1,000 books in total from my shelves in 4 previous purgings over the years.  When I purge, I give them away to people or to a library usually.  I purge lots of good books, too, as you can see below. Of course, what I decide to move on you might not. A good book always is in the eye of the beholder.

Do I then keep buying books after a purging of the shelves?  What do you think?  Of course I do.  I’m a book guy.  I like to hold books in my hands.  Many of my friends have totally converted to a reading device like a kindle.  I have a kindle myself and have read lots of books on it, but I’m a guy who really likes to touch a book, takes notes in books with a pen and highlighter. I can really mark books up.

Lots of good books here in one of many boxes ready to be moved out of here with purging No. #5. Of course, of the writing of books, as the writer of Ecclesiastes says, there is no end. And thus of the reading of books there is no end! And therefore in my case, of the purging of books there is no end!


The worn cover with “Jesus Christ is Lord” in magenta & blue is the Bible I got when attending InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s triennial student mission conference called URBANA. This Bible is from URBANA ’90. (Don’t worry, I have another one, not quite as worn!)

I am being cheered on to be ruthless in the purging by Pastor-to-Pastor Initiatives Executive Vice-President MALIN HALL, age 1. … 1. Photo on the left is Malin saying, “Now Papa, you know you don’t need all those books on your shelves, and on the floor. Just look at all those books piled on the floor next to your already jam-packed book shelves. Come on Papa. Get going!”  2. In the picture on the upper right Malin is in big-time coaching mode: “You’re doing great. Keep at it, Papa. Remember the operative word today: ‘Ruthless! Go, Papa, go.'”  3. And finally the photo on the bottom right is the big shot saying, “Congratulations, Papa. Now doesn’t that feel better?”

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