Library Construction

Into what subjects is your personal library categorized and which section have you built up the most?  I can easily say that the most substantial portions of my library consist of books on the following subjects:

  1. Patristics
  2. Biblical Languages
  3. Trinity
  4. Christology
  5. Apologetics

So how about you?

B”H

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34 thoughts on “Library Construction

  1. Well, because of the fact that I’m only going to be in this apartment a few more months, I haven’t concentrated as much on organization as I would like. I’ve seared my conscious, however, to keep from freaking out about it until I move somewhere off campus.

    The big divisions I have are Biblical Languages, Theology (systematic and biblical), History, Commentaries, Dictionaries, Philosophy, Fiction, and Rock Climbing. The rest are alphabetical by Author’s last name. That’s a bit utopian and in the past tense of course, sense my books are out of order now.

    I also have books separated out by class, so that they are together, and (of course) a “to read” section.

  2. -NT Commentaries
    -Suffering
    -Attributes of God/Jesus for lack of a better term (Knowing God, Holiness of God, The Lord, etc.)
    -Christian Living again for lack of a better term (Jerry Bridges, Oswald Chambers, Tozer, Yancey, etc.)
    -Bibles

    My “library” is still small.

    Jeff

  3. I was faced with a dilemma when we moved to China. We only were able to bring 12 suitcases, and that had to include everything. So…95% of my books are at my parents house in the states. When deciding the 5% to bring, I had to decide whether to bring unread stuff or those books near and dear to me. I brought unread stuff, but primarily missions books.

    So my non-mission book collection is rather eclectic for this reason. It includes a Leviticus commentary, Greek Synopsis, Jonathan Edwards biography, some NT Wright, Anabaptist history and various Latin, Greek and Hebrew helps amongst others…random, huh?

    So there’s no real order to the shelf. It has grown through as I’ve had stuffed shipped over from Amazon (6-8 week delivery…gag), and picked up some books this summer while in Malaysia.

  4. I have things organized in different book cases. I have a book case of Linguistics & Language, one for Greek and Latin, one for commentaries, one theology, and then a couple of more unusual places for very old books and literature.

    You’re probably wondering what I mean by unusual places. I’ll write a post with pictures. I need to post something in my “What I do when I’m not studying Greek” series anyway.

  5. Bryan: Thanks for pointing out biblical languages, I’ll have to update the post to include that.

    Jeff: That’s okay, all our libraries are small compared to some people we know.

    Ranger: 6-8 weeks?!! Ouch! I feel your pain. God help you!

    Mike: Sweet, I love pictures of books!

    Esteban: Excuses, excuses. We all know that you have more commentaries than anything else anyway…

    Stan: I guess Library Thing is actually good for something. Theology is too loose a category though because most of my books could squeeze into that one in one way or another.

  6. Yeah, Im asking for a Kindle which should expedite the process with some of the books I want.

  7. David: Textual criticism huh? I’m so sorry.

    Ranger: Nice. I like the idea of Kindle but I don’t know that I could ever do away with actual books.

  8. I maintain the following order:

    Historical Jesus
    Paul
    The Synoptics
    Gospel of John
    NT Christology
    Old Testament Studies
    New Testament Studies
    Languages
    OT Commentaries
    NT Commentaries
    Hermeneutics
    Christian Theology/Systematic Theology
    Philosophy
    African American Literature
    Books on Racial Reconciliation & Harmony

    Then I have a bunch of other books everywhere in the house (closets, storage, underneath my son’s bed, etc)

    In total I think I have a little over 1100 books in my library.

  9. I have a book case that’s all commentaries (except for the bottom shelf which is dictionaries andl lexicons).

    Then two of my other book cases are separated into:
    1.) Biblical Interpretation and hermeneutics
    2.) Biblical background and introduction
    3.) Books on Jesus
    4.) Books on Paul
    5.) OT
    6.) Theology
    7.) Ethics
    8.) Philosophy
    9.) Religion
    10.) Misc.

    I have another book case that is all newer stuff that I plan on reading but they all fall into those basic categories

    Bryan L

  10. HAH, you wish! I just didn’t have the time or inclination to list, well, nearly every subject in the field of Theology in the order in which each is listed in my library. ;-)

  11. Esteban: I do hope you use either Dewey or LCC…

    Nick: Hopefully pictures will come tomorrow. My camera batteries are dying.

  12. My library is organized thusly:

    Big green books
    Little green books
    Big red books
    Little red books
    Big blue books
    Little blue books
    etc. etc.

  13. Celucien: That wasn’t your library in that post on your blog, was it?

    Esteban: Okay, so everything is the categories, which do you have the most of?

    Mike: I look forward to it.

    Roger: I appreciate the succinctness.

    John: That’s as good a system as any. Does that include dust jackets or do they get removed?

  14. Nick> Hmm. I suppose I’m particularly strong in Greek grammar, hermeneutics and exegetical method, Biblical theology, Pauline studies, Christianity and Judaism in Late Antiquity, early Christian history (to AD 600), Late Medieval and Reformation (radical and magisterial) history and theology, and homiletics. I once boasted very large systematic theology holdings, but then I got over it and I barely have a smattering of it, anymore.

    Mike> I did use Dewey many moons ago, but my library grew too unmanageable at some point, and I quit. Broadly topical and alphabetical works for me. And some day I will even get it all on shelves!

  15. Nick: Wallace has a spiral staircase.

    Esteban: I do hope that when you have a gap so large AD 600 through Late Medieval that you’ve at least included the Conciliar Movement in your collection. Where do you consider Late Medieval beginning?

  16. 1. Theology
    2. Commentaries
    3. Apologetics
    4. Biblical Reference (Intro OT/NT, surveys, etc)
    5. Biblical Languages

    Areas I want to expand are Church Fathers, Theology (Christology, Trinity, & Salvation), and more biblical reference

  17. Mike> There is no gap. I do have several volumes on the Western Middle Ages (but more so on the Byzantine period); it is just that my library is particularly strong in the early, late Medieval, and Reformation periods.

    By “late Medieval” I mean the XIV and XV centuries — the world of Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Chaucer, Ockham, Biel, Wycliffe, Huss, and Columbus.

  18. Robert: Yeah, you can’t have too many books in the areas you want to expand. And now that I think about it, I have quite a few conmmentaries even though I hate them so.

  19. Jeff: No, Santa’s definitely real, and so is the Easter Bunny. But Santa gives toys and the Easter Bunny candy; neither of them give commentaries.

    Mike: Wonderful! Thanks.

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