A Strategy for Building Your Library

I regularly notice comments on blogs where people mention how they really want to buy Logos, but just don’t have enough money saved up. Here’s one possible way to buy Logos and end up with more money in your pocket than when you started.

First, decide on a base package. I’d highly recommend Gold. It’s an incredible value. You pay less than $2 per title if you buy it at the full retail price.

Next, look at the contents of Gold and compare it with your print library. Look for the duplicates, and set them aside. Most students who are serious about their biblical and theological training probably have at least a few dozen books that are included in Gold. Book lovers may have a hundred or two, or even more.

Decide on the ones that you could do without in print. Maybe that’s all of them. Or perhaps you prefer to keep some books in print and go digital only for the reference works and commentaries. You may also want to throw in other books that you could do without, even if they aren’t included in Gold. That may be another dozen or two.

Now do a little math. The average academic paperback in good quality is probably worth $15. (It pays to take good care of your books—literally.) For your more popular-level paperbacks, you’re probably looking at roughly $5-10. Nice quality hardbacks are going to have an average resale price in the $20-25 range.

Assuming you have a fairly even spread of paperbacks and hardbacks, let’s guess $15 as the average price that you could get for one of your books. If you sell 100 books, you’ve more than paid for Gold at the retail price—and you’ve just grown your library by more than 600 volumes!

I realize that not everyone is going to have 100 books to sell, but certainly many will. Maybe you have only 25 or 50. At least you’ve trimmed down the amount that you need to save.

When I bought my first Logos base package, Scholar’s Library: Silver (QB), I took a slightly different route. I already had enough money saved up to buy Silver, so I went ahead and bought it. Then I sold all the titles from my print library that were duplicates, as well as some other titles that I had accumulated over the years that I no longer wanted. I made enough money to buy Silver several times over. Not only did I increase my library by hundreds of volumes, but I also ended up with quite a bit more money in my pocket!

The next step for me was more of an ongoing process. I’d look to see what books Logos offered that I already had. I’d buy the Logos version and then sell my print copy. This method provided a nice steady flow of income to spend on Logos books, and it resulted in a much larger—and much more useful—library.

I’m interested to hear how many of you have done this or something similar. What creative suggestions would you give to someone saving up for Gold or looking for ways to fund additional Logos purchases?


  1. I stared out several years ago by asking my wife for the original languages collection for Christmas. Then i added books for my birthday and other occasions for gift giving. The next Christmas I upgraded to Scholar’s Eedion, Then Silver and then finally the Gold. The last two years I asked for the Christmas collection library volumes 1-6. I also have a budge for books in my monthly budget. I can’t buy a book or collection every month but now and then i can get something. I have some duplicates but I also have many more valuable tools. Now my wife has started her own this Christmas with the Leader’s library and Warren Wiersbe’s Be Series Old Testament Commentary Set. I have several preorders purchased for myself at the present time. Although I have a PlayStation 3 and a Home Theatre with a 5 DVD changer I find it to be more satisfyng to add to my Logos bookshelf than my game or DVD collection.

  2. The key for me has been to “specialize” and to purchase resources in the area that is special to me. Or, in evangelicalease :) the area of calling in my life. God Bless

  3. First, I take my wife out to dinner….

  4. Andy Anderson says

    Two years ago I was introduced to Logos, and purchased the Scholar’s and added the MacArthur Lifeworks and Commentaries right away. As I became familiar with the software, it became a time saver in the preparation of daily devotions that I send out to friends and family. As like other book lovers, I quickly began to add resources that enhanced my library, and eventually purchased the Gold, plus the Christmas Special buys. I realized that my large paper library was sitting on my shelves, gathering dust, and not being used, because I had all that I needed with my Logos Bible Software. I felt guilty that I had spent quite a few dollars in building the paper library over the years, and it sat there, not being used. I determined that I needed to act responsibly with those resources, as a good steward, and make them available to others. So I sold several sets of books on ebay, and have been doing this on a gradual basis. I am still in the process of selling, and then will ultimately donate the remainder, and with the funds purchased additional commentary sets that I absolutely enjoy. Everyone wins! I have invested into digital books, and have delegated my paper to Christians that enjoy paper, and received more dollars to invest further into my Christian Theological Library. There are over 2,900 books in my digital library, making it a great resource in my studies. A large portion of the books were added by the dollars acquired through the sale of my paper library. If you are resisting the move to the best Bible Software in the world, take the plunge! If you have a huge paper library, sell the books and sets that are duplicates to your digital library. You will be happy that you did.

  5. I went academic all the way. Since I purchased logos back while I was in undergrad, I didn’t really have many volumes to sell right off the bat, though that is what I did to purchase WBC & BECNT.
    Since I worked in the library I did a lot of book selling too. Buying books off our library used book sale, selling them on Amazon, buying books off Amazon, selling them at the library used book sale.

  6. Richard Beehner, Jr. says

    While I understand the benefit of selling your print books, it is prudent to consider the value of a physical library aside from a source of revenue.
    I was attracted to the idea of reducing the space used by my physical library, which became ‘healthy’ after 5 years of post-graduate study. I decided to keep my print books and “adjust” my priorities to purchase the Logos books I now enjoy.
    Power outages are not uncommon where I live and I have crashed at least three laptops in as many years. This means I found several occasions when I needed to rely on my physical library; I only needed a candle or two.

  7. Phil’s comments here sparked my own post on our personal strategy for acquiring and disposing of books.