The Companionship of Books

I had a wonderful time tonight preaching at Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego and felt as home there as I do in my own church… so many wonderful people. I was thrilled to meet Dr. Tim LaHaye, whom I had not previously met but who was there; and, of course, it’s always pleasure to spend time with Dr. David Jeremiah. Later at supper, Pastor Jeremiah and I talked about the books we are reading. I’m amazed at how voluminous he is in his mental diet. I think he must read five books for every one that I tackle. But it made me think of a quote from the Erasmus biography by David Bentley-Taylor, a book that’s kept me absorbed in reading and re-reading it. Here is what Desiderius Erasmus had to say about books and about reading. Maybe it’ll spark your interest in picking up your next tome.

Perhaps you wonder what I am up to. My friends are my occupation and in their company, which I enjoy enormously, I refresh my spirits. They never thrust themselves upon me uninvited, but when I call for them they are at once at my disposal. I closet myself with them in some secluded nook. They speak when I ask them to speak, otherwise they keep silence. Their conversation lasts as long as I want. They go into every situation with me and I know they will stay with me to the very end of life. From time to time I exchange them, taking up first one and then another. It is their friendship which has made me perfectly happy. But in case my metaphor escapes you, you must understand that in all I have said about my friends, I was speaking of my books.

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