reader question

An Expository Thoughts reader named Jacob writes, “[A recent] post on your web site reminded me of a question that I have never resolved myself (dealing with the pastor’s library of books and bookshelves). The question is, “Is there a good way to organize these books to make them easier to reference both electronically and physically?” So I thought that I would ask you. Any ideas? Or, can you recommend an article on the subject?”

On another note, be sure to check out this new blog called Biblical Preaching. We also like the look of their blog.

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Juan on May 25, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Funny that you mentioned this since I asked the same thing at I am looking at setting up a Sharepoint Server and testing it for stuff I find online and in my books. I plan to start in about 2 weeks. I do like the idea given Erik of using an index in the back of the book. I have started using that idea with my books, there is also a book that is recommended in the comments by StaffAction ““How to read a book” by Adler & Van Doren.” I will be getting it soon.
    I think Sharepoint is the way to go but not sure how it will work. I will be testing it and I will let you know if using basic sharepoint services will do the trick or if Full SQL version is better.

    I would like to see other ideas out there!


  2. In this new age of the Internet and CD’s and all these new ways of getting material that once you could only get by having books, I wonder what the Pastor’s library looks like today?

    Back forty years ago, the Pastor’s library was made up of only books and articles from other resources. Having over 3,000 books I catalog the books rather well. Today there is so much more resources for the Pastor to consider for his study.

    I understand that John MacArthur still writes out his sermons and reads books. I would like to see his library?

    I have not figured out how to catalog the Internet for Biblical resources. Any help in this area.


  3. I use Libronix/Logos as a computer based resource which has thousands of titles available and offers enormous search capability. However I prefer my books to anything I haver to read on a computer screen but to each his own.

    If I find an article on the net I then bookmark it in a folder in my Firefox browser. I have also added del.icio,us as my tagging/bookmark feature in Firefox which helps me manage my bookmarks much like a file folder system.

    I also use librarything to catalog my books (which is an ongoing process) but I’m not sure what usefulness Librarything really holds other than keeping a record of what you have on the shelf. Maybe someone has some insight.

    As for my books on the shelf, I have them arranged in a way that makes sense to me and allows me to go right to what I need. I don’t rearrange my books a lot because I need to know what is on every shelf and be able to put my finger on it or direct someone else to it for me if I’m out of the office. After five years of being in the same office looking at the same shelves, I know where everything is which is half the battle. Using the books is the other half.

  4. I have read several blogs asking the same questions recently. I wonder if it is time to build a site like LibraryThing which will meet the needs of the preacher? I have been active in building some free sites that will support preachers and there studies. So I think I may get with some friends and build one to meet this need.

    Would there be any suggestions? Feel free to send them to me.

  5. Jacob, I think that would be a great idea. As I said earlier in this thread, I’m not sure how LibraryThing actually helps me apart from knowing what I have. If more features could be added that would be great. However I have no idea what those features should be so I’ll leave it to more nimble minds to think this one through.

  6. Right Paul. LibraryThing does fall short. I am a new preacher and as I have been trying to establish a pattern to assist me in my studies, I have been bumping against many walls. I am a designer and developer by vocation and I have been fortunate to partner with some very intelligent minds who are having the same issue – they too are programmers. We began an endeavor to create an online set of tools to help preachers in their studies.

    So my goal now is to gather as much information about the patterns and habits that older preachers haven had for years and try to make a range of online services to pull it off. Of course, myself and my partners have agreed before hand that all of this would be free. So we began to work.

    Making a preachers library tool would be a quick an easy thing for us, so I’m passing it around to them to see what we can do. However, since I too require to know what these patterns and habits are, I need much advice on what to feature in these applications.

    I only know from my limited experience. Please send me all suggestions and comments and we will try to make something available here soon that will be helpful to preachers (something beyond the abilities of LibraryThing and geared more to the preacher and accessibility). My email address Thank you for your comments. And thank you Expository Thoughts for your help on this.

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