Recent statistical; information coming from numerous sources are that books are still the rave in this internet world.
In our local Malls - Tweed Heads and Tweed City - are books shops and there is always someone in them having a look and then buying. Children’s books have never lost their awe as have novels (even with books on line) as are technical books and books of academia. Moreover every airport has a bookshop.
A few years ago now, two of my adult children as birthday gifts requested a copy of a particular hard-covered dictionary on Christian theology.
This dictionary works its way through from A to Z, providing detailed analysis of theology from the perspectives of Catholicism, Protestantism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. In some cases, they further describe the differences between these various aspects.
When my eldest and her husband wanted to discuss ‘free will’ as a follow-up to a recent bible study group discussion, I drew their attention to this particular book - instead of me beaming a view directly from the patriarchal throne. I was rather frightened of being seen as something of an old sage-on-the-stage.
When one of my other adult children enquired about a different issue, and was also encouraged to investigate the tome for himself, he too sought it for a birthday gift. Consequently, I decided to also order a copy for another of his children as a wedding gift, making it a family affair of these dictionaries.
I was taken by surprise at the requests of these young people for two reasons. One was that my children are all professionals who are conversant with the internet, where any ‘word’ or ‘theological framework’ can be sought with the click of a mouse. The second reason was that these are no slim volumes, but inconvenient weighty tomes.
I discovered that, like we ‘oldies’, my children find that one intrinsic value of a book is that it is portable; it can be taken anywhere from a study desk, to a bed, to a lounge chair, or onto a plane.
In this instance, my children had put aside the modern high-tech cyberspace modes of seeking information. Perhaps they have also rediscovered that an authoritatively edited book such as this has a ring of an authenticity to it. Moreover, as the format of a book becomes familiar, the book itself becomes a good friend.
Moreover, my wife is an avid reader of Christian books - fictional, romance and auto-biographical. As an avid Christian bookshop browser, my wife returns home, as do millions like her, with books and books and books ….
And then there is the world’s best seller … the Bible.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html