Article Notes — “Confessions of a Bibliophile,” by Keith Mathison

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a bibliophile is “A lover of books; a book-fancier.” Although this is a helpful definition, I’m not entirely sure I want to refer to myself as a “fancier” of anything. I’m from Texas. We either like something or we don’t. We don’t “fancy” things. It’s…unnatural.

So starts a brief, thoughtful look at one Christian bibliophile’s thoughts on what it means to love reading books. In “Confessions of a Bibliophile,” by Keith Mathison, I found two things particularly helpful and encouraging:

  • First, Mathison points out that it’s impossible to read all books. Ecclesiastes 12:12–“Of making many books there is no end.” How, then, shall we choose which books to read? Up until now, I have made those decisions largely based on my own interests, my book review stack, and upon several reading lists (primarily those of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Desiring God, and John Piper). However, Mathison has got me thinking about just what a large proportion of what I read comes from my review stack, and from books that are new. Do I place too much of an emphasis on newness in choosing books to read? I suspect so.
  • Second, Mathison wisely concludes with a warning about how easily our bookshelves can transform into little houses for idols. “All the reading in the world, if it does not ultimately promote our love of Christ and our brethren, is nothing but futility.” Amen.

About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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