Books!

Does anyone have an accurate list of how many new books are published here in the USA every year? There must be something fairly accurate—but, as I did yesterday, I received a self-published book that will probably not become officially copyrighted. Solomon in Ecclesiastes said there’d be no end to writing books—and he knew nothing of the computer, or the printing press, for that matter!

Why does a person write? In reading some books, I wonder. The writer who authored the book I was sent yesterday had a clear purpose. I appreciate that! You can read some that just seem to be words and lots of printer’s ink that you wonder why anyone went to the trouble to put together.

I read a book last week that had a purpose, but it was wrong in the way it cut-and-pasted other people’s work. The best part of the book was the quotes; the rest—well, it would have been better if he had simply made it a book of quotations. The rest of the book got in the way of reading the excellent quotes.

Frankly, I like a book that is to the point, succinct, and clear. I’m under a conviction that I’ve tried earnestly to follow in writing—NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT TO SUBJECT, IT CAN BE MADE CLEAR TO ANYONE OF REASONABLE INTELLIGENCE AND READING ABILITY. Part of what it takes to pull that off is certain knowledge of what one is writing about. Another is rewriting—over, and over and over, until you are at least reasonably satisfied. Why not fully satisfied? Well, the book is probably poorly written is you are satisfied with it! It takes too little to satisfy you—at least about your own work!

Give me a good detective novel, devoid of profanity, and other objectionable factors, a solid commentary, some theological treatise that informs (not just repeats), and the like, and you may not see much of me for a couple of days!

Do you enjoy writing? If you don’t—then don’t write. I didn’t say enjoy the result; just the process and, at the end the right to say, “Ah—It’s done!” But, of course, if you’re writing a stiff, footnote-choked thesis or dissertation—well, that’s another story (not to be put in print).

Writing. Do you do it? If you are a pastor or informed Christian and have something to say that’s really worth saying (and hasn’t been well-said before), then try. I suspect there’s some heady stuff out there that the rest of us would be delighted to read. But be warned: there will be discouragements, interruptions, distractions, temptations to quit, etc., etc., etc. (They say never to use etc., so I used three to be safe!).

Come on brother or sister—let’s read some of your good stuff. Stop that selfish attitude that says, “I’ll keep it to myself,” or that overly timid one that says,” I could never do it.” Now, I’m not talking to you who really couldn’t, and shouldn’t because you have nothing to contribute. Please don’t write! But there are those reading right now who should. Why not sit down and sketch out an idea or six that would be helpful and edifying to other believers? Then, go to work enlarging it into a book. Can’t type? Never took a course myself; but there are ways and means of learning the hard way if you try long enough. Just go ahead pick at that computer—it actually will give you help like underlining in red my typo “gice” so I could find and correct it.

Besides that—an editor at the publishing house may offer some help in shaping things up into a more respectable form. But be able to make out a case for doing it your way if you think he is wrong. Listen carefully—but don’t always agree with him.

So, let’s see someone become encouraged by this blog. If you are—let me know, and tell me what it is you intend to write about. That would be interesting.

Bye, now.

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