Sunday, December 2, 2007

Trolling the Bargin Bins at Bookstores

I am one of those people, like many others, that takes a long time to read a book. Mainly because I start one and then forget to pick it up for weeks. So, my readings block won't change that fast.

I also like to troll the clearance section of Christian bookstores. I never really buy anything from the stores, or even visit much. But the clearance sections are interesting mix of good and bad books.

If a book is a hit in the Evangelipopcology market place, they won't go into the bargain bin. Which is fine by me - I don't need to know how to kiss my date goodbye or twist God's arm to bless me with money. Whenever a book does make a splash, you can usually expect a large number of copycats. The better ones of these make a good splash themselves, but some of them bomb. These end up in the bargain bins. That is the bad - so bad that I get a good laugh out of reading their cover summaries. So, I guess it does end up being 30 seconds of entertainment.

The good is that when a book comes out that is too dense or quirky for the general public, it will also usually end up in the bargain bun. Those are the kind of books that I love to read. I just picked up a book that I am going to start reading recently on Jesus. Crazy, huh - a Christian bookstore book on Jesus? They can sometimes be rarer than you think. I can't remember who this one is by, but it takes all of the Gospels and combines them, and then the author added notes and side stories about the cultural atmosphere of the time. I'm sure some things will be off or wrong, but I look forward to getting this comprehensive picture. The Bible was written for people that lived in the time that it was written about, for people with a great understanding of the culture. The authors left a lot of explanation of the times out of there, basically because they had no need to explain it to their intended audience. I love reading anything that can restore that lost picture in my mind.


Bird said...

Have you guys been to Waco lately? That newish Christian bookstore that put the Compass out of business, Mardel, has a great discount and clearance book section.

Matt C. said...

We have been to a few Mardels up here in Dallas. They also have a great selection of underground and independent music. But we always joke about them closing so early - like at 8:30 or something, so we have a hard time getting there when they are open. I actually haven't trolled their book bin, yet - but I will the next time we can catch them open. Thanks for the tip.