Booking Through Thursday: Out of print

btt2.jpg The Booking Through Thursday question for this week is:

Do you have a favourite book, now out of print, that you would like to see become available again?

Yes, I do, though I am guessing they are off the beaten path from the other participants. 🙂

One of my favorites, originally read about 20 years ago, is Sometimes I Prefer To Fuss by Verda Peet. I found a used version earlier this year and reread it (and reviewed it here.) The author and her husband had been missionaries to Thailand for thirty years, and the book is a humorous, honest, and poignant look at missionary life. The title comes from the truth that God’s grace is sufficient for whatever we’re dealing with, but sometimes we choose to fuss instead.

Another missionary book I read years ago is Never Say Can’t by Jerry Ballard, a missionary to Cuba and Panama. All I can remember about it is that he didn’t have much of any self-confidence and felt he had little talent, but he determined that he would never say “I can’t” in the face of any task (in fact, he and his wife wrote those words on a slip of paper and buried them). He went on to be marvelously used of the Lord, trusting in His sufficiency and not his own.

I’ve read most of Elisabeth Elliot’s books, one I’d like to read again that’s out of print is Twelve Baskets of Crumbs. If I remember correctly it’s along the lines of Keep a Quiet Heart — just her thoughts various subjects. There is one particular piece she wrote about widowhood that I have looked for in her other books and old newsletters and can’t find, and I am wondering if it was in that book.

I think I first discovered Richard Armour through a poem in a book, then I searched the web and found he had written lots of books — over 60. He was a professor of English who had a regular newspaper column called “Amour’s Armory,” and many of his books are poems or short essays from that column. Most of his work is humorous in the style of Odgen Nash, but there are some sweet and winsome ones as well.

From his book Richard Armour’s Punctured Poems: Famous First and Infamous Second Lines comes these treasures:

“To err is human, to forgive divine.”

Followed by

“Some errors I forgive, though quickly. . . . Mine.”

From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Water, water, everywhere;”

Followed by

“The plumbing badly needs repair.”

From “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave!”

Followed by

“The webs to spiders we should leave.”

I wrote a review of his book The Spouse in the House here.

I’d love to see all of these books come back into print because I feel they’d be both interesting and beneficial. I have found all of them on amazon.com — and even ordered a couple this morning! Other BTT participants have listed other good sites for finding out of print books as well.

Updated to add: I thought of another one. Years ago I was fascinated with a book titled Charlie’s Victory by Charlie Wedemeyer. He was an athlete and coach who developed ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). By the end of it, he was an inspirational and motivational speaker — even though he couldn’t speak. It was a wonderful book. I gave my copy away to a friend who is paralyzed, but I’d love to read it again. Two things remain in my memory from this book: one was during a particularly bad night when he finally said his family would be better off without him. His wife said, “I’d rather have you this way than not at all.” Later, when he got to the point where he couldn’t breathe on his own, he was rushed to the hospital where doctors tried to tell his wife it was time t let him go. A nurse told her about portable ventilators. When she asked the doctor, he was angry (!) Finally they found someone who would put her husband on a portable ventilator, and he was able to travel and do many things. So many people regard ventilators as a death sentence or as signal that that’s enough, but for many people, a portable vent can give them enough help to lead a wonderful life — though not ideal and not the life they would have chosen, I know personally people who are paralyzed and on a vent who lead full, active, happy lives.

5 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Out of print

  1. THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS press has released some wonderful out-of-print books in the past few years, including the Goncourt Bros. journal and the diary of Joseph Joubert (edited by Paul Auster). I’d like to see more Louis Ferdinand Celine in print–his writing (some of the best of the 20th century) is very hard to find and kudos to Dalkey Archive Press for trying to address that situation…

  2. I love your book reviews. I’ve gotten away from reading (too busy?) and they always remind me to pick up a good book. My New Years Resolution this year is to read more, that and breath deeply.

  3. The Wedemeyers live in my hometown! We read about them in the paper every so often. I think they’ve been an inspiration to many.

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