My name is Mark Atteberry and I am a bookaholic.
Yes, it’s true. I can drive past anything but a bookstore. If I drive by a garage sale and see a stack of books, I have to whip the car to the curb and jump out. If you walk into my house, it will look pretty normal. But if you start looking in closets and under beds and inside cabinets, you’ll find books. Stacks of books. Rows of books. Piles of books.
It doesn’t help that I’m married to a bookaholic.
Some people might say we should quit buying books. Perhaps we would if people would quit writing and publishing them. According to Edward Tenner, who is a senior research associate of the Lemelson Center for the History of Invention and Innovation, 4,000 books are published every day.* That number becomes even more impressive when you realize that as recently as 1900 there were only about 35,000 different books in print.**
It’s important for us bookaholics to understand that our quest to grow a little stronger every day can be advanced or derailed by books, depending on whether we choose to read good stuff or junk. (Each individual has to decide which is which.)
I am also concerned about people who always have their noses buried in the latest bestseller, but never open the Bible. I know believers who boast that they’ve read every novel John Grisham has written, but they can’t open the Bible and find an Old Testament book without turning to the table of contents.
I love a hair-raising thriller or a poignant love story as much as anybody. I’m reading David Baldacci’s latest right now. But I also know that only one book in the world is “inspired by God and useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.” (2 Timothy 3:16) I would be a fool to read every other book and not read the one God wrote.
So would you.
For further reflection read Psalm 119:7-9, Hebrews 4:12, 1 Peter 1:23-35.
**Chuck Swindoll, Rise and Shine (Sisters: Multnomah, 1989), 130