But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. (NLT)
Those of us who are book lovers may be tempted to grab any book that appeals to us as soon as it hits the shelves. There seems to be an endless supply of books churned out by publishers who reckon they can make a profit from them as well as improving the lives of those who buy them.
It is true that some books change our lives. We may already have a dozen books on prayer, but the latest book we bought really struck a nerve and changed us for the better. Each generation responds in a different way to different books. And the latest book might resonate with us in this particular season of our life.
So there is value in checking out new books. But there is also value in going back to the books that have graced our shelves for many years. The wisdom contained in them hasn’t changed. There is much in them that we might have forgotten.
However, beware of assuming that just because a book is new, just because it is written by a well-known author, that it will transform you overnight. Beware of believing all the publicity about how it will revolutionise your life. The book, or the church programme for that matter, may have a positive effect. Or sadly, it may be read once then gather dust on the shelf as your life is unchanged by it.
Books and authors can be wonderful God given gifts to us. But they need to be read as instruments in the hand of the Holy Spirit who alone brings about change.