Category Archives: Bible

Bibles – from one Bookseller’s point of view.

You know it’s going to happen as soon as you are approached with the request, “I’m looking for a Large Print Bible..” and you smile, marshalling your best Customer Service manners, all ready. And within minutes, the expected request for Large Print, (but meaning Giant Print) small enough to fit in the best Sunday handbag, leather-bound with zip, the “proper” Bible, (meaning the Authorised, or King James) and preferably under £10.00 is trotted out. There is a fortune awaiting the person who ever manages to devise one.

Then, there is the regular buyer of Bibles to give away. Doesn’t really want to spend more than a couple of pounds, but complains bitterly at the quality every time. The only time I ever heard one inordinately professional Christian Bookshop manager’s professionalism come close to slipping was during one such series of complaints. She listened patiently, explained if he wanted better quality, he would have to pay more, he retorted £2.99 was too much, and she quietly remarked she was sorry he valued the Word of God as being worth less than £2.99.

There are the Bibles marketed at women, at men, at couples, at youth, at children. There are Devotional Bibles, Study Bibles, Read the Bible in a Year Bibles…. The Green Bible, the Social Justice Bible… you name it, it’s around or has been around.

There is the “Fashion Bible” – the one that came in a tin, the brown paper wrapped one, the funky colours on the covers, the numerous ways of dressing it up to appeal to the young, the impressionable, and yes, if it gets someone reading it, one bit of me says “Why not?” But when the cover matters more than the content… “She only wants the NKJV with the Pink Princess Cover and Diamanté clasp” (I kid you not) then I seriously wonder…

All this aside, I love the job of uniting customer and Bible! I love tracking down exactly what’s available, and possible, and making someone’s day that I’ve done it.

I am grateful I live somewhere with so much choice. I, like Rosamundi, am ridiculously picky about the version I prefer. And, if you read through all Rosamundi has said about Bibles and our choices, I am in total agreement with her. I am well, well aware that this is indeed an enormous privilege, not a right. A privilege so many do not have.

So, enough internal whinging from me that I’ve lost motivation for Bible Reading or Study, I’ve not got time to do other than the bare minimum, or any of the other excuses I’ve got down to a fine art. I’m off to get re-started.

It’s a good thing I love my work…

even if I occasionally wonder just why I’m doing it when it would be far more sensible to do something else full time, rather than finding something that works alongside this one!

For in what other job than mine would I seriously discuss Proverbs 26:11 with two teenagers, who as a result think the Bible might be worth taking a look at after all! Not sure if they were taken aback that I absent-mindedly stated “Oh, there’s something in the Bible about that” (as I was listening to them, and catching up on admin) and promptly found it. Or they were astounded I was clued up enough to find what I needed on the internet (for, in the eyes of the technically minded teenaged male of the species I am Old and Clueless. They are learning – rapidly!). Or they were impressed at my Biblical knowledge, maybe?

Still, it made my day and the long commute well worth while.

Oh. Am excited. Oh.

New memo to self.

Chill – God’s ideas are remarkably good ones, and if God really wants me Elsewhere, then, the Elsewhere will be provided!

On two counts am I currently excited, both very unexpectedly so. A New Idea for where I might live for the next year has entered the arena, and from such an unexpected source. It’s not somewhere I’d ever considered, and it’s not where I’m currently job hunting, but it is a very strong possibility if the current set of possibilities don’t work out…

Then, there was this evening’s youth service. We have a small, but faithful band of teenagers, and this is a new initiative, having a shortish evening service that is purely for them. Hopefully, soon, they will be a bit more confident about leading or directing it themselves, but for this evening, I’d volunteered to make sure something happened. They’re also an eclectic bunch, and what one half likes, the other half hates. Oh joy!

Anyway, I decided on a chilled approach, given it’s also exam season, and I know they’ve all been extra busy with numerous things lately. So, we read about prayer in the Bible, talked about what prayer was… then I left them to get on with praying! I’d brought down several options, dependant on who was there, and in the end went with a clear, straight-forwards exercise to do… if they wanted… and left various pictures and icons and crosses around for them to use… if they wanted.

What they wanted was the exercise I gave them, and silence. So, that is what they got! I reluctantly got them out of their deep silence twenty or so minutes later, but I think they’d’ve stayed there for a lot longer if it were possible.

It’s been a good day!

Giggling at the lectionary.

I have been in the practice of saying Morning and Evening Prayer for more years than I really want to think about. Mostly with others, sometimes on my own. Sometimes, when I’m having a good sulk I’ll reluctantly read a psalm and a reading, and other times, it’ll be a slow, meditative process. Sometimes, I’ll not do them at all, and rarely last more than a few days! Mostly, however, it’s a normal regular part of my day, I’m used to it, and like it.

For lots of reasons, it’s hard going at the moment, and one of the reasons is I’m saying it with someone who has ideas about how to do it that are very different from mine, and it’s been difficult finding a middle ground that works. One of the main difficulties has been the number of readings per office, and the compromise is we omit one of the two readings at Morning Prayer, but have both at Evening Prayer.

So, I generally have a catchup read of all the readings I’ve missed in the week over the weekend. I had good intentions of doing them each day before I got to Morning Prayer, but… well, let’s just say I should never have good intentions about what I do before I’ve had at least two cups of coffee, and been awake properly for two hours.

Actually, the good thing about it is I do get to read chunks of the Bible in one go, which is something I’ve rarely done, and am now doing more of.

So, what had me giggling this morning? Job. It’s going to take me a while to think just exactly why because it wasn’t just one bit, but it definitely did, and had me thinking yet again how often the right thing emerges at the right time in the lectionary readings.

I feel quite restored and ready for battle tomorrow.