Custom-Built Bookcase for Sale, Low Miles

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software and author of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham High Definition New Testament, and the forthcoming Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis.

This would be the heading of my want ad if I were to post one. You see, ten years ago when we bought our house, one of the first personal projects I did was build a custom, floor-to-ceiling bookcase in my new office.

At the time I was regularly buying Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplemental volumes, scholarly commentaries like Word Biblical Commentary, ICC, and the Anchor Bible and whatever else I needed to write my MTS thesis. This bookcase was to be the showpiece of my scholarly man-cave. I even inherited a great leather chair from an aunt-in-law, the kind that was scratched by a cat and isn’t allowed in the living room any more. Life was great—until something happened.

The “something” was Logos Bible Software: Scholar’s Gold. It completely changed the way I used my library, and more importantly how I spent my book budget. Here is a picture of my new office. My library now resides almost exclusively on my laptop, and I study and write in my rocking chair, not in my man-cave.

My wife and I are taking a finance class to refresh the lessons learned from Larry Burkett. We were challenged to sell off things of value that we don’t use anymore. When I heard this, I got really sad. Why? Because the first thing that came to mind was my collection of books. I realized I had two collections: the Logos collection on my laptop that I use almost every day, and the paper one sitting on my custom-made bookcase in my man-cave. It has been collecting dust for several years now, and I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone in there to grab a book.

I am taking all the books that I now (or soon will) have in Logos—the doubles—and am selling off the paper copies. The proceeds are being reinvested in—you guessed it—Logos books. So many great new titles are coming out from Baker and Zondervan and Continuum that it just makes good sense to consolidate my investment.

One last thing remains: getting an Apple device so that I can read on-the-go without my laptop using our iPhone Bible app. My birthday is just around the corner if anyone is interested!

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22 Responses to “Custom-Built Bookcase for Sale, Low Miles”

  1. Paul Burgess March 2, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    I would love to exclusively use my Logos, but unfortunately all the books that I need to read for my BTh are not in it, nor in the competition, many are still only in print, and horror of horrors, many are out of print, and I have to scour the world of second hand books shops, Amazon’s used books and Abe books.

  2. Jon March 2, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    What books are you selling and for how much? Sounds interesting!

  3. Bentley Crawford March 2, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    Hey! Where exactly would one be able to buy the bookcase or the books for sale?

  4. Mike March 2, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    I find that my growing Logos collection sanctifies beyond its content – it forces me to deal with the pride I had evidently taken in my library.
    Prayerfully consider this challenge: give away relevant books to our third world brothers via a ministry like Equipping Pastors International.
    In Christ,
    Mike

  5. Kevin Rossen March 2, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    I’ve been downsizing my print library over the past couple years, too. I’m the same with my print books. I have quite a few of them, but I very rarely use them. I’ve been listing them on Amazon and I plan on selling even more of them in the coming weeks.
    Thanks for the reminder to keep reinvesting in my theological library.

  6. Mark Barnes March 2, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    I’ve sold off around 200 volumes (mainly commentary sets) by upgrading to Logos versions, and for the first time have empty shelves in my study. It’s a strange sight!

  7. tcblack March 2, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    Steve,
    I did the same thing when I moved into my home office. I’ve got a full wall floor to ceiling bookcase and a desk to ceiling book case in front of me.
    I’m not quite ready to lose mine though. I find it’s remarkably hard to study with Logos when the power goes out…

  8. Giovanni March 2, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    LOL, guess what, I’m also trying to sell a lot of my books to invest on Logos books. Good luck! It’s kind of tough now days! You can put them on e-bay or amazon or the cheapest way craigslist – but still, it takes a while. I managed to sell some on craigslist, like “Lenski’s and some other software I had” – I did not buy Lenski on Logos, because I didn’t really use that set, but I sure did get the classic Pulpit Commentaries and other goodies. Digital is the way to go my friend! I’m even planning on becoming an embassador for Logos. When some friends at church see my Logos 4 and they ask me to do a short demo of “Their favorite passage” they go WOWWWWW!!! One of them bought the “Bible Study Package” but he didn’t tell me, so guess what, no credit for me, but my biggest reward was that I was the one who introduced him to Logos. So we’ll see, hopefully in the future I’ll make sure I tell them to use me as a reference before they make a purchase. Great post and great idea to sell what you don’t use.

  9. Pastor Jim March 2, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    I hope that one day, my children and grandchildren will inherit my library. Unfortunately, that can’t happen with Logos.

  10. Miguel DeGuzman March 2, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Friends, I urge you to send your books to a seminary/ies Philippines.
    Here’s my email if interested:mdguzman@gmail.com

  11. Anthony March 2, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I love the new look of your workspace, however I think you might need one of these: http://www.airdesks.com/
    It is a must if you use your laptop a lot. I have one and love it!!

  12. Phil Gons March 2, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Actually, it can—at least to one of your grandchildren. See here, here, and here.

  13. Jonathan Sine March 2, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    It makes a lot of sense. But I also resonate with tcblack’s remarks. It’s not a good feeling to be completely dependent on technology!

  14. Paul Burgess March 2, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I work in IT, I would love to be able to have access to Logos on a netbook, but since I have the licenses on my laptop, with 1T disk, a netbook wouldn’t handle it, but I do have the iphone, which is both a blessing, and a pain, blessing, because I can get access to my library remotely, and pain because the screen is too small to do any decent reading..and age has already effected my eyesight, and the original problem, we do not have all the books in a Logos version, even then, and even though I work in IT, I would caution against being 100% reliant upon electronic versions.
    If I could get access to the library from my netbook, the way the iphone does, and we could get all publishers to produce all books in the common soft version, I would be far more agreeable to go electronic, but screen technology would have to improve dramatically, to stop being so bad for eyes.

  15. Jonathan Sine March 2, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    That’s great! Thanks for the clarification…

  16. Paul White March 2, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    One of the advantages of having both a print library and an electronic one is in teaching others.
    A pastor can say book so-and-so says this about that, but if he takes the book to church, puts it on display with a bookmark in the right place … it adds to his credibility as a scholar.
    However, nothing can beat the electronic library for research and locating just that page and paragraph which applies to your Bible lesson or sermon.
    (my two cents worth)

  17. Stephen MacKenzie March 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Sorry Logos, but you have not made books obsolete.
    Granted, integrated, indexed software is a great tool for finding things fast. However books are far easier to read and comprehend when trying to digest complex theology or commentary for many people. For the type of material that I need to read, finding it quickly helps, but what takes the most time is comprehending the material.
    A word of caution to those who are feeling guilty about buying too many books: don’t think that switching to software is the cure. Software is a far more impulsive media. You can get instant gratification from download purchases at your finger tips. Given the rising prices of electronic media, this can add up very quickly.
    I view my books and software as tools of the trade used to serve God and His people. If you view them as status symbols, switching to software is just trading one form of idolotry for another.
    Sincerely,
    Stephen MacKenzie

  18. Shannon Bond March 3, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Steve,
    Just bring the bookshelf with you the next time you come to Bangs. I’ll gladly take it off your hands because my office really needs an overhaul.
    Shannon Bond

  19. Dirk Boersma March 4, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    It seems like you are overstating the value of Logos a bit. I have not seen all the books in my library in Logos yet, and sometimes you pick up a book for very little money while Logos is selling it at $25. Way to go.
    I do enjoy the speed and broadness of Logos, and it has hugely improved with version 4. I’m just waiting for the mac version since 2006, I hope the new path they have chosen will lead to a superb app.
    By the way: to all brothers who take pride in a library with many books on shelves: you are not going to avoid your pride by switching to an electronic library. Instead, you will feel the same pride when showing off your software and your books in digital form. There is no difference in taking pride in paper or in silicon; it’s pride all the same. Better repent from your pride and submit everything to Christ and use it with thanksgiving for his kingdom.

  20. Thomas Fleming March 6, 2010 at 4:30 am #

    For those of you who want to sell your books. That’s great! It will make for some great pickings somewhere.
    I prefer books, but being a missionary I cannot afford the luxury of a fully stocked library. Though I have collected a minimal library after 15 years, I never know when I might have to dump it all. Especially in the beginning of my overseas time, it was good to have only the Bible. That’s what it is all about anyway.
    The advances in screen displays will eventually catch up to paper. Yes, paper still will have some advantages, but the e-readers and such will have far more advantages. Currently, I am pleased to be using the Kindle (though it still should be considered 1st generation). Too bad Logos 4 cannot run on an e-reader.

  21. Tim Yerks March 6, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Nearly all my study is now confined within the walls of my monitor screen with Logos 4 filling it and I can not over express my pleasure; however, books on the shelf are tried and true, require no electricity or computer to use, and selling them would be like discarding old friends. No, for me Logos and books will continue to coexist in my house!

  22. Rob March 7, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    I would only start amassing digital books if publishers would do what the movie companies are doing: bundle it with the hard copy.
    The movie industry has begun to bundle a Blu-Ray, a Digital Copy, and a standard DVD in order to promote the switch to new media. They had noticed that people weren’t willing to buy blu-ray players unless they had reason to.
    I’m a tactile person. I like the book in front of me, but I certainly see the value in having a digital copy for travel purposes. If you could convince the publishers to bundle the digital book with the hard copy, I’d start buying more digital books. Otherwise, I’m primarily going to buy the hard copy.