IVP - Behind the Books - Reading Archives

March 6, 2013

[Giveaway] Seven Kinds of Reading

The incomparable Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) practiced four distinct kinds of reading:

Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading

  • Study
  • Perusal
  • Mere reading
  • Curious reading

Perhaps someday we'll talk more about Doctor Johnson's four-layered approach, but in the meantime let me point you to Robert DeMaria Jr.'s excellent Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), which I heartily recommend.

But I've got an alternate scheme that allows me (like Johnson) to have a baker's half-dozen books in active readership at any given time.

Continue reading "[Giveaway] Seven Kinds of Reading"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 8:24 AM | Comments (24) are closed

February 21, 2013

Mama Loves All Her Babies the Same

One of the struggles I have when blogging about books here is my fear of appearing to favor some IVP titles over others. I have quite the opposite problem from that of another colleague in book publishing: the incomparable Bridget Jones.

Continue reading "Mama Loves All Her Babies the Same"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 9:18 AM | Comments (6) are closed

January 14, 2013

Better Theology for [Your Job Here]

I love books that urge you to read more books — and I say that honestly as a reader, not just because I work for a publisher. One of our new titles, Toddy Holeman's Theology for Better Counseling, makes a particularly good case for reading more.

Continue reading "Better Theology for [Your Job Here]"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 8:39 AM | Comments (1) are closed

January 3, 2013

What Are You Reading? 2012

There are three problems with typical year-end book lists:

  1. 1. They're limited to new books. (You may already know how I feel about that.)
  2. 2. They're show-off-y. ("Look at all the books I read this year!")
  3. 3. They get buried among everyone else's year-end lists.

I've tried to avoid at least the first two pitfalls (and maybe, by being late, also the third). Even so, please take what follows with a grain of salt. I certainly do.

Continue reading "What Are You Reading? 2012"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 1:31 PM | Comments (4) are closed

December 21, 2012

Good Solitary Reading

'Tis the season for making introverts uncomfortable, what with so many people and parties and busyness. (I should know. I am one.) If you're craving some "alone time," you're not alone. Here's a nice passage about what a difference some peace and quiet can make for our reading habits.

Continue reading "Good Solitary Reading"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 12:48 PM

December 13, 2012

Not As If We Haven't Seen It Before

How about a little tidbit to provoke some thought about how reading can become part of a long conversation down through the years? You've got it:

Continue reading "Not As If We Haven't Seen It Before"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 12:50 PM

December 11, 2012

Jigsaw Puzzles with L'Engle and McLellan

The title of this blog, "Behind the Books," is a bit of a double-entendre. Most of the time, I'll aim to pull back the curtain on this little publishing house and share some of what's going on in here. (I hope that won't take the edge off your appetite, like the old bit about people who like sausage or law being well advised not to inquire into their making.)

But sometimes (and today is one of those times) I fancy that "Behind the Books" suggests an alternate image.

Continue reading "Jigsaw Puzzles with L'Engle and McLellan"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 7:40 AM

December 7, 2012

One Old Book for Every Three New Ones

The publishing industry wants you to know about all the new books coming out, we at IVP included. (And there are more books all the time, have you noticed?) But we also know that the good old, golden oldies are important, too, and not just for business — for life. C. S. Lewis had something to say on this subject.

Continue reading "One Old Book for Every Three New Ones"
Posted by Jon Boyd at 7:44 AM | Comments (6) are closed

May 18, 2011

A Few Books for Your Summer Reading List

Now that warmer weather is finally on its way, the summer planning begins. Here come the family vacations, backyard BBQs, trips to the beach, church picnics and long, sunny walks with the dog. This warmer weather also means you can finally get around to those outdoor projects you’ve been able to put off all winter. But before you leave for vacation or make that honey-do list, remember that summer is a great time to relax and read a book!

IVP has plenty to offer! Browse our website or check out these four easy-reading titles on different aspects of our demanding culture. Happy reading!

Hollywood Worldviews by Brian Godawa

worldviewsBB.jpg“Any Christian wanting to understand modern film from the viewpoint of its message, its moral premise, will find Godawa’s Hollywood Worldviews a must-read. A film must be approached from more than one direction to do justice to it, but an understanding of its worldview is a requirement. There is no better book available on the subject.”

—Jack Hafer, producer, and chairman of cinema and media arts at Biola University

Unsqueezed by Margot Starbuck

unsqueezedBB.jpg“Margot Starbuck navigates the complexities of self-image, appearance, our bodies and beauty with humor, insight and wisdom. Get ready to be both entertained and moved. You will be laughing out loud one moment, then suddenly challenged with biblical truths that will transform your thinking and inspire change. Reading Unsqueezed is a truly liberating experience.”

—Ann Capper, R.D., C.D.N., nutrition editor, FINDINGbalance.com, and author of Big Thighs, Tight Jeans (Should Jan Go on a Diet?)

Friending by Lynne Baab

friendingBB.jpg“Friends are so important to me! But today there are more forces pushing us apart—as well as new media to bring us together—than ever before in history. Lynne Baab explores a world of options and encourages us to redevelop the art of friendship for a new era. This book is full of practical tools, winsome stories and keen insights. I’m hooked.”

—Dr. Steve Hayner, president, Columbia Theological Seminary

The Wisdom of Pixar by Robert Velarde

pixarBB.jpg“Wow. And here I thought I was just watching cartoons with my kids! I love how Robert takes readers through the beauty, fun, depth and warmth of Pixar films and frames the solid values that run through them. This book is a must-read for parents who love Pixar films as much as their kids—and for those interested in generating some great postfilm family conversations.”

—Caryn Rivadeneira, author of Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. and cofounder of TheMommyRevolution.com

Posted by Leah Kiple at 10:42 AM

January 15, 2011

Preview Our Books at Scribd!

We want you to know, without doubt, that the book you buy is the book you need.

That’s why, for several years, we have been using Amazon Search Inside and Google Preview to allow you to view as much as 20% of any book. Now, we are pleased to share large, uncut excerpts and extras from our newest books for free download at Scribd (see www.scribd.com/intervarsitypress).

At Scribd, you will find a growing number of PDF excerpts of our latest titles that include

  • full color covers
  • tables of contents
  • short description pages with helpful links
  • full chapter picked by the editor

Books from authors like Ruth Haley Barton, Sean Gladding, Dallas Willard, Alister McGrath and N. T. Wright are all available for preview. And we plan to release at least four new titles a month from IVP Academic, IVP Books, Likewise and Formatio—all simultaneous to or even before the release of the print edition.

We have also posted our entire collection of catalogs.

Don’t see a book you’d like to preview? Contact us and we will do our best to post it quickly. Have more questions about a book? Try a link from the description page at the beginning of the PDF at Scribd or check IVP Online.

We hope that this will be a valuable service to you as you dig deeply into your faith—and, we hope, into InterVarsity Press books!

Posted by Nate Baker-Lutz at 11:40 PM

April 11, 2008

Book Storage Idea

photo of chair with built-in bookshelves

In regard to the earlier discussions about book storage solutions (and spousal negotiations), here's a book chair!

It's called a bibliochase and you can find it at Nobody and Co. Of course, the retail cost is $4,800, not including the books.

Posted by Cindy Bunch at 8:03 AM | Comments (1) are closed

March 6, 2008

On the Keeping of Books

The last blog post drew quite a lot of comments, some of which opened up a secondary topic--how do we store all of those delicious books (or "friends," as Dan Reid put it) we are reading, and how many do we need to keep anyway? One of my seminary professors, David Scholer, had a lovely storage solution in his suburban Chicago home--rows of library-style stacks built right into his home office! That was a thing of beauty.

I personally favor bookshelves in every room of the house. (Well, actually, I dream of a library with floor-to-ceiling books and one of those ladders that slides on a rail around the room.) However, if you read my husband's (Dan Sullivan) comments, you will see that he does not favor being surrounded by books in every room of the house.

And that moves us into the delicate area of negotiating the storage of books with one's spouse. Greg Jao, author of the Bible study guide Kingdom of God, has a wonderful anecdote on that topic:

Scene 1: Soon after my girlfriend metamorphosized into my fiancee (an overly-long process, from her perspective), she wandered through my apartment and saw things with new eyes. "So, . . . are all those books coming with you?"

"Yes," I said. "And I'm buying more too."

This launched a conversation about whether I would give up books for her (and whether she would give up breathing oxygen for me) and what would happen (theoretically) if a book-elimination ultimatum was issued (note the passive) in the post-marriage future. A person willing to live with a profoundly unhappy spouse could issue such an ultimatum, I allowed.

Scene 2: When we moved to New Jersey, our movers demonstrated preternatural skill in estimating the number of boxes needed to pack our books--and their weight. "About 1200 lbs," he noted.*

This horrified my wife.

Me? I'm thrilled. When people come to visit and say, "Wow--you have a ton of books," I can say, "Not really. But don't worry--I'm working towards it!"

*I also have books stashed at my office and at my parents' home in sufficent quantities to move me well into the 2000 lbs range.

Posted by Cindy Bunch at 8:36 AM | Comments (9) are closed

March 3, 2008

How Many Books Are You Reading?

The other day I counted and my son is currently reading four books at the same time. I am so proud! Spencer is in third grade, and now books are long enough that he doesn't just sit and read them straight through.

While eating breakfast he is reading a book from the school library called Eoin Colfer's Legend of . . . Spud Murphy. After school he is reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder for a school project. Each night before bed he reads with his grandfather via speaker phone. They have just started a Tom Swift story that belonged to my grandfather. Then after we say prayers he reads a bit more on his own. He just finished Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and started SuperFudge.

Watching him read all of these books gives me pleasure because that's how I read. I've got a book for morning prayer and another for evening prayer (when I get to it). Then I've got a spirituality text that I'm reading for work. While driving to work, I usually have an audio book to listen to in the car--often something funny. At nighttime I have a bit of useful nonfiction as well as a novel by the bed. (All this is not to mention all of the manuscripts in various states I'm reading at work!)

Why do we read this way? There's just so many exciting and interesting books to tackle. I can't always wait till one is done to start the next.

Of course not everyone sees it that way. When I enthusiastically told my husband (an engineer) of Spencer's multi-book-reading achievement, he said, "Oh no, he's got the disease."

Posted by Cindy Bunch at 7:50 PM | Comments (17) are closed

February 1, 2008

Books Can Speak

Here's what I read this morning in Thomas Merton's book Thoughts in Solitude (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1958):

Reading ought to be an act of homage to the God of all truth. We open our hearts to words that reflect the reality He has created or the greater Reality which He is. . . .

Books can speak to us like God, like men or like the noise of the city we live in. They speak to us like God when they bring us light and peace and fill us with silence. They speak to us like God when we desire never to leave them. They speak to us like men when we desire to hear them again. They speak to us like the noise of the city when they hold us captive by a weariness that tells us nothing, give us no peace, and no support, nothing to remember, and yet will not let us escape.

As an editor, I find this very inspiring. It reminds me of why I care about books of spirituality. There are many writers that can "hold us captive" but tell us nothing. And while such writing can beautiful, memorable and evocative, it doesn't lead to human growth. Indeed it can leave us with the sense of unrest described here.

But how wonderful to be reminded of our calling to read books that draw us into God's presence.

Posted by Cindy Bunch at 7:23 AM | Comments (3) are closed

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