Tuesday, August 25, 2009

John Stackhouse and the Importance of Christian Bookstores

Professor John Stackhouse of Regent College has an encouraging post on the importance of Christian bookstores. Anyone from a bookstore could have written this piece so it is especially meaningful coming from someone not in the retail industry. Here is part of what he wrote:

"Buying books at a bookstore, however, means getting something for your money. It isn’t just a form of donation to the college or seminary.

We pay to have books right there on the shelves to buy now, not in a few days or weeks.

We pay to have books available to pick up, inspect, and decide about purchasing in a way websites can never emulate, no matter what cool features they add.

We pay for the wisdom and taste of professional theological booksellers who pick out the good books from the many, many bad ones. (Anyone up for some serious religious book buying at Barnes & Noble or Borders? At Wal-Mart?)

We pay for staff to advise us on what else might interest us on a topic, and also what might interest Uncle Fred or Cousin Wilma or Nephew Barney or Reverend Betty for a birthday or graduation or study leave or retirement.

We pay for information on why a book is not currently available, and perhaps on other ways of getting it (e.g., from the U.K. when it’s not available over here, particularly if it’s been published under a different title elsewhere).

We pay to be able to return things easily and confidently.

And we pay for the serendipity—not a trivial thing—of coming across books we never knew existed and for which we would never have thought to search on a website."

Thank you Dr. Stackhouse for seeing the value of our industry and giving expression to it so well. And, while I'm at it, thanks to all our customers who have kept us alive and well for 70 years. May the Lord give us 70 more.


Paul said...

LOL...I was wondering how long it would take you to point to this one!

Louis said...


No it didn't. I showed it to my manager who passed it on to at least a dozen others.