Monday, August 4, 2014

What to do with a minister's library?

A reader of this blog sent me a question last night about how to dispose of his ministerial library.  He retired from the ministry a few years ago and still has his library which he no longer needs.  Interestingly enough, this is a question my wife and I have been discussing for the past few weeks.  Although I am not retired, I left pastoral ministry 13 years ago to serve as a judicatory minister.  I have a large collection of commentaries and other Bible study books that I no longer use for sermon preparation.  A large percentage of the remainder of my library would be more useful to a pastor than to someone in my current ministry role.  I don't want my wife to have to deal with this when I'm gone so we've been looking at options.  (BTW - the thought of giving up my books horrifies me!)

Several years ago I sold a few commentary sets I didn't find helpful to Baker Books.  At that time, they were buying used books.  They paid for the shipping and a fair price for the books, but I don't know if they still do that or not.  A few years ago a young man began pastoring a small church.  I asked him about his library, and he admitted he didn't have much.  I gave him a very nice set of New Testament commentaries, and about three months later resigned from the church and moved away.  That didn't work out well!

I'm sitting here looking at seven book cases stacked full.  The vast majority are ministry related, and most of them are newer.  If you are retired, what did you do with your library?  If you are approaching retirement, what are your plans for your books?  I think this would be a great question for discussion on this blog, so let's here from you!

1 comment:

Seth said...

I'm not nearing retirement, but I will be getting my dad's vast library of books. Although he is not a pastor, he has read more books than just about anyone I know.
I will of course be willing to take your books off your hands. (Or at least go thought and pick out what I want!)