reads of the week

While taking some personal time off, my wife, her parents and I have visited a couple of interesting places. When arriving in a new village or town, our custom is to search for the nearest coffee shop and then peruse the various charity shops. However, on one of our more recent excursions, we broke pattern and did things the other way round. Thus, the charity shops became the first task of the day (after lunch, of course) and I could not resist the temptation of popping in Oxfam bookshop. I’m glad I couldn’t resist, because if I had I might have missed these:

  • A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh (1979) . . . . £2.99
  • Glenn N. Davies, Faith and Obedience in Romans: A Study in Romans 1–4. JSNTSup 39 (1990) . . . . £1.49
  • I. Howard Marshall, The Epistle to the Philippians. Epworth Commentaries (1991) . . . . £1.99
  • Nigel Watson, The First Epistle to the Corinthians. Epworth Commentaries (1992) . . . . £1.99

And yes: not only did I give into to temptation, I also indulged in it (i.e. I bought them). However, this was not the first time I was ‘carried away and enticed’ by such things. On an earlier outing, we travelled to a place that is a hotbed of captivation, temptation and sinister persuasion: Hay-on-Wye, a.k.a. the town of books. (Here’s a list of the numerous bookshops in Hay. A few are missing from the list). At the thought of being surrounded by c. 1,000,000 books, and knowing my somewhat recent predilection for books,* I was given a budget of £15. This forced me to be selective and creative. Sixteen bookshops later, I came home with these:

  • J.L. Houlden, Patterns of Faith: A Study in the Relationship Between the New Testament and Christian Doctrine (1977) . . . . £2.00
  • John C. Hurd Jr., The Origins of 1 Corinthians (1965) . . . . £3.95
  • John C. Kirby, Ephesians: Baptism and Pentecost: An Inquiry into the Structure and Purpose of the Epistle to the Ephesians (1968) . . . . £3.50
  • A.J.M. Wedderburn, Beyond Resurrection (1999) . . . . £3.50

Not a bad day, I think. Will I get through reading these any time soon? Not likely, but I’ll give it a go. Am I a dork for being excited about finding, buying and reading books? Pretty much.

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* I must confess that, before University (‘college’ for the US readers) I never really read books. To be completely honest, even while at University I did not read the (assigned) books thoroughly. I usually skimmed them so that I could write the required report. It was only in my senior year and after graduation (in 2002) that I developed a penchant for studious reading, and with this came the compulsion to purchase books.

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