Well, I’ve almost started reading the bible. I finally got my hands on a copy, anyway. I asked my brother if he had a spare I could borrow, and he said they probably have one and that he’d look for it, but I haven’t heard back from him yet. I asked to borrow one from my roommate, but she said her spare was only the new testament. One of the commenters on the previous post offered to send me a copy in the mail, free of charge, but I’d really rather borrow one. I don’t like having my own copy of a book unless I think I’m going to either read it multiple times or use frequently it as a reference (my parents are pack rats, and that’s one particular trait that I have been trying very hard to not emulate). I suppose I could read the bible on the internet or in ebook form, but I really do prefer having a hard copy when I’m reading a book. As per usual, the combination of my desire to not own many books and my strong preference for reading physical books led me to the library.
I like the library. I live within walking distance of a fairly large public library. I don’t think there has been a single day when I have not had books checked out of the library since I moved here. Every time I go to return the books I have out, I can’t seem to make it out of the building without a whole new pile of books. Libraries are awesome. They have tons and tons of books, and they just encourage you to read and borrow them, free of charge (aside from overdue fees. oops).
Well anyway, today I decided I should get on with this bible reading thing, so as not to disappoint my readers (hey, that’s right, I actually have readers, plural, now). So I looked up the call number for the bible (220-ish), and headed off for the library. There were quite a few shelves to sort through, both with bibles and with books about the bible. I ended up picking up a copy of “The Green Bible”, which is a New Revised Standard Version with a bit of stuff about environmentalism thrown in for an introduction. It met my very strict criterion for picking out a bible- it’s the whole book (both new testament and old), it fits nicely in my hands (it’s not too heavy or bulky), and there were two copies on the shelf (so I shouldn’t have to worry about returning it early without using the maximum number of renewals if someone puts a hold on it or something).
One of the nice things about going to the library and browsing for a book, is that you also get to look at a variety of related books. I also picked up a copy of “The Bible: A Very Short Introduction” by John Riches, which talks about a variety of things, such as how the bible was written and its influence on culture and politics. Then I got the idea in my head to also check out a copy of Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” because I keep hearing people mention it in the atheosphere. Sadly, all of the copies were checked out. They did have “The Dawkins Delusion” on the shelf, which might be interesting to read, just to see what criticisms people have about Dawkins’ book, but not if I can’t also read Dawkins’ book for myself. Instead, I ended up checking out “A Short History of Western Atheism” by James Thrower, “The Atheist Debater’s Handbook” by B.C. Johnson, and “The Atheist’s Handbook to Modern Materialism” by Philip A. Stahl. Should be interesting stuff. I really have not done much reading about atheism, aside from a few blogs. I’m especially looking forward to the book about materialism since, unlike the majority of atheists, I am not actually a materialist (although it is most certainly a very useful viewpoint for accomplishing practical things like, say, science).
Well, I have a very large pile of books to be reading, considering I didn’t even return the previous pile of books before getting the new pile, this time. I think I’ll get started on that, now.