2 Mar 2010

Books by the metre

Personally I've always found the Books by the Foot or Books by the Metre markets somewhat strange. Now I know that Henry Ward Beecher said:
A home without books is like a room without windows
but I don't think that this is quite what he had in mind, do you? Perhaps these people need to advertise the fact that they know how to read. Maybe that's it. Otherwise it has me beat.

I personally love sticky beaking at the bookshelves of other bibliophiles. Fashion victims probably like looking at wardrobes for the same reason. Probably. It is the same thing. When I look at the shelves of a real book lover I invariably find a book that I haven't seen before but now absolutely need to own. Today. These shelves filled by the metre though, have nothing to do with reading at all. So what's the point? I don't rightly know.

You all know that I have a burgeoning book collection. It is a rare week that I don't add anything to my bookshelves. Those people that say that inanimate objects cannot reproduce are clearly wrong. The evidence is there for all to see in every corner of our peaceful home. The leaning piles grow and wobble and fall. The difference between me and the Books by the Metre crowd is that my books are loved, poured over and read. I love my books, and I've never ever acquired them by the metre.

Until last weekend...

In the corner of the Adult Bible Class room of our our local church has lain a large pile of dusty old Christian books. They were tantalising to me as a book lover, but nobody knew anything much about them, and anyway after class the door was locked and I didn't actually know whether there were any treasures in there or not.

On Sunday my beloved and I arrived early to class. The door was open and in we went - straight to the pile. Wow! It was a veritable gold mine! Moments later the door opened and one of the Elders accompanied by a Deacon entered and saw us. Then the most marvellous thing happened. The Elder said, "You can take those if you want them. Nobody else has shown any interest in them at all. It would be good for someone to read them. They're yours!"

So now they are! They're mine.

On Sunday I acquired a metre of books. Oh my. I am so excited. Because these are not just books by the metre - these are absolutely wonderful titles.

Just to demonstrate, let me list some of my new tomes for your perusal:

1. Mimosa by Amy Carmichael
A Hindu child of an Indian village hears one afternoon about a God who loves her, and lives from then on under his influence, surmounting every kind of opposition and adversity. A true story by Amy Carmichael, founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship.

2. Take My Hands by Dorothy Clarke Wilson
The remarkable story of Dr Mary Verghese of Vellore, a young surgeon paralysed from the waist down in a serious bus accident who worked with lepers in India. I loved this book as a teen.

3. Through Gates of Splendour By Elisabeth Elliot
The martyrdom of the five missionaries in Ecuador told by the wife of Jim Elliot in collaboration with the four other wives.

4. Minka and Margaret by Phyllis Thompson
The kidnapping of Margaret Morgan and Minka Hanskamp from a leprosy clinic in Southern Thailand. Another book from my youth. Minka was the sister of a good family friend, and so we all read this book with horror, I remember.

5. Jungle Doctor on Safari by Paul White
The second of this wonderful series about an Australian medical missionary living in Tanganyika. We have a large collection of these books, but didn't have this lovely first edition.

6. Four Gates by Amy Le Feuvre
A novel by this well known Victorian author of books with strong moral and Christian themes.

7. One Vision Only by Carolyn Canfield
The life story of Isobel Kuhn, Canadian Protestant Christian missionary to the Lisu people of Yunnan Province in China and northern Thailand with the China Inland Mission.

8. Stones of Fire by Isobel Kuhn
One of Kuhn's many books about her experiences, this one about Mary a young Lisu girl in South Wset China.

9. Devotions for the Family Altar by Ruth I. Johnson
I can never get enough of these old lesson books that include Scripture readings, memory verses and an applicable story that applies the truth to daily life.

10. Moody's Anecdotes by D L Moody
"Anecdotes are like windows to let light in upon a subject." A book of anecdotes, incidents and illustrations from the life of the American evangelist.

11. Bible Teaching Made Easy by Violet M Sullivan
with a forward by Rev WR McEwen, one of the ministers from my own denomination the RPCA.

12. Agents 14 by Ruth I Johnson
A book of short biographies of Christians with courage.

And that's a dozen. Jealous yet? Joyous giggle of glee. Have a look at the photos in close up by clicking on them. There are lots and lots more every bit as good as these.

Two problems. No, three. Firstly, where will they all live? Secondly, when will we find time to read them all? Thirdly, who in their right minds gave these books away in the first place? Crazy!

A metre of books. Me. Who'd have thought?


  1. Though I don't consider myself a book worm, I love a good read and I absolutely adore bookstores!! This was a very fun post to read!

  2. Moral of the story?
    It pays to be a sticky beak!
    Great score Jeanne.

    You can alwasy pass them on to others as you get through them.

  3. Would you be interested in having a read of any, Ruby? I could always post a few your way!

  4. Great! As soon as my eyes are fixed, You can cull them for me, Jeanne.(I am getting a huge pile of reading backing up here actually!)

  5. My hand shot up for the Amy Carmichaels. ☺ Great score!

  6. You have made me a teeny weeny bit jealous:)
    As someone said once " a good book finds you" and I think that's what happened to you:)

  7. They were just sitting there, waiting to catch the right person's eye, weren't they? I have a feeling you will find a place for them. Great titles!

  8. aww...more precious babies! I am so touched!...lol!

    The Amy Carmichael will be a good read!


  9. oooh wonderful! Four Gates is a lovely story, we have quite a few of Amy LeFeuvre's books, they are great!

  10. Sounds like a 'pay it forward' scenario?
    It's one of those beautiful moments, when you realise God uses us to bless others or be blessed. You knew you were supposed to go to church that day!

  11. I picture an angel hiding those books from view with outstretched wings 'til your arrival. Where will you begin?

    Ditto Sarah and Ganeida. I would start with the Amy Carmichael as well. My sister almost named their daughter after her.

    Once I picked up an incredible book by Watchman Nee at a library sale. I couldn't imagine who would give it up and, since there was an address and phone # on the inside, I actually called them. It was a lovely, warm elderly couple that had enjoyed the book and decided to "pass it on." We had a nice chat about the rich contents of the book.

  12. a treasure of books that you will cherish
    and pass down to future generations.

    i would be just as excited!


  13. They found the right home--that's for sure! (We just got done with Amy Carmichael in Tapestry of Grace history). Now to the "phrase that pays" for today: "sticky beaking???" I've heard it all now! I guess you mean "rubber necking" or sticking your nose in??

  14. LUCKY!! I'm almost jealous, but then I take a glance up at my bookshelves, and realize I have so many on my list of 'to read' to keep me busy for a long while yet.

    I do so love books.

    We are kindred spirits in that regard :)

    amy in peru

  15. Thanks for visiting my blog, Jeanne. I have enjoyed reading a few of your posts (I LOVE this one) and will come back when I can to read the article you had published - congratulations!

  16. Hi Jeanne,
    Wow - what a blessing! I'm sure that you will put them all to good use. There are some great titles there! :D

    Have a wonderful week,
    Jillian ♥

  17. So cool!!! Wow...I will have to write some of those down. Those books sound wonderful!

  18. Those books sound lovely.

  19. Oh, I'm jealous, in a good way jealous....mmmm.....I'm simply jealous, don't know if in a good or bad way -giggle

    (I don't know if I told you, but THANKS for your MEP post, I'll be doing those printings and preparing this summer and I appreciate your notes on errors and tips)


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...