What are the books you come back to?

I spent half of Saturday organizing my library. I’ve always had an unwieldy number of books, more volumes than space, and it requires a fair amount of shuffling and reordering to get them shelved in a way useful to me and tolerable to my wife. It’s pure joy. Sorting through my library is therapeutic. There are few things more enjoyable and restorative than a casual browse of books you love. A sojourn…

What is Christian literature? God’s truth, wherever you find it

In a 1997 interview with Books and Culture, William F. Buckley Jr. was asked what thinkers influenced him theologically. “I’m a theological novice,” he answered, “but I simply assume that the Christian prism tends to inform Christians, whatever they are reading.” All literature, in other words, has the potential to be Christian literature. Believers can find the good, true, and beautiful thumbing through most any book—or at least be reminded of those…

Five reasons you should write in your books

When I die, my kids or some lucky sap at an estate sale will end up with my library. As they rifle through the pages, they’ll probably take note of the number of coffee stains and all my underlines and marginalia. Some will be scandalized. I’m an inveterate scribbler. That’s especially true when it comes to nonfiction, but even novels suffer a few slashes and asterisks. If writing in books ever becomes…

History, profanity, and booze: What I read in 2015

After a couple of weeks of taking it easy, I’m grateful to be back. I thought I might start the new year by sharing what I read in the last one. Few things make me happier than books. I love the insights, connections, possibilities, and worlds they create. I plow through a fair number each year but rarely record the titles I read. Last year was different. After finishing a book, I…