Byrnesys Blabberings

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Where do you get your Theology Books from?

June 30th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I have a few shelves of good theology books building up but I was wondering when I see the walls of professors offices, and some theology blogger’s lined with books, how do people build their theological libraries.

Many Theological texts are well north of £30 and certainly many of the bloggers and prof’s must get review copies from publishing companies, I suspect others working in Churches have some form of book budget. But what about everyone else out there?

As Ive mentioned in the past abebooks is an excellent tool for fiding sub-amazon prices. More recently I have also discovered a few smaller second hand theology bookstores, and a blem section on another publishers site, and of course the odd books of interest turns up on ebay now and again.

Last year I was talking to one of the lecturers here at Aberdeen who told us how he got the whole Church Dogmatics series in HB for about 1 dollar each after his University had a donation of truck loads of books from the estate of a recently deceased local bishop. As the library found numerous duplications of texts already in stock they set up a few small book sales with token prices for the younger professors to help them build their libraries. Sounds like a dream come true!

But Id like to know How do you source your books? Where do you find super-cheap second hand theology books?

Tags: Miscellaneous · Theology Thoughts

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom Allen // Jun 30, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Slightly ironic that you should be posting on how to build up a library – I have spent the last few weeks trying to fit my books into a smaller study/office and wondering whether I really need them all after 30 years of gathering theology books. So how have a come by them – well I very rarely buy at full price execept those special books which you know are coming out from favoured authors – so buy behind publication and theology books have relatively short shelf lives so discount farely quickly – search bookshops for bargains – let people know you will always welcome gifts or donations or rejects – and best of all subscribe to publishers in house lists such as SCM list:
    best of all start blogging reviews of books and then you may start to get sent them for review – finally realise that perhaps 50% of books in peoples library are just for show – they may not have read them and they are probably out of date!

  • 2 Liam Byrnes // Jul 4, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Tom, Thanks for the advise, Anything you are looking to rid off as a downsize I would certainly be glad of! I will keep an eye on the SCM Page too, and your last point is very true, but I love the idea of being able to grab a book off my shelf instead of endlessly searching Univeristy library catalogues!
    Thanks again.


  • 3 graham // Aug 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Liam,

    Like Tom, I’ve moved into a smaller space and am currently trying to shed a few pounds of excess “bookage”. However, if you’re seeking to bulk-up, here’s how I did it.

    All I’ve ever asked for as presents for birthdays and Christmas for the last 10 years has been books. On top of that, I designed a website for a second-hand Christian book supplier, so stumbled upon a great contact that way. Unfortunately, they no longer exist!

    There are also theological college libraries that routinely ‘modernise’ their collections. My college had a classroom full of books they no longer wanted. Ah, what a happy day that was!

    I’d recommend getting to know some publishers as well. For example, I write a few reviews on my blog, so now get sent books from authors and publishers.

    Finally, get to know some book Distributors. “Seconds” or discontinued lines are a great addition to one’s library.

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