"Books Are Wonderful" and FUN!

Reflections from Ed Miller...

I love books! Sometimes I also love to read, but reading doesn't come easily to me most of the time. It's work. But the reason I love books is because I know their value. Last spring a father of 12 children shared with me that he reads at least one book on parenting every month. I was humbled and thought that was outstanding and wonderful. 

I want to share just 3 of the reasons why I love books. I wrote an article in 2013 about the phrase “Books Are Wonderful.” In my work with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, (IV) I spent a great deal of time leading and directing student leadership training conferences in the New York/New Jersey Region. The phrase "leaders are readers" was used quite heavily. Reading has been part of the IV culture for as long as I can remember. Reading books is a great way to be “discipled” by Christians from all times and places. This is one of the main reasons why I love books.

I was in charge of the "book table" for a year or so in my IV Chapter at the University of Delaware. When I came on staff with IV I was often given the  assignment of setting up the "bookstore" at many of these events which included coordinating the "book plugs" at mealtimes. I even set up a permanent Christian Bookstore at the conference center that we owned called Hudson House. InterVarsity Press (IVP) always provided easy access to IVP books, but Byron Borger from the Hearts and Minds Bookstore was also eager to put together books on consignment for us from other publishers. 

I grew to love setting up the bookstore and giving “book plugs” at IV conferences. At some point during the 80's, I started using the phrase "Books Are Wonderful" as the intro to all my book plugs. To be honest, I don't even remember how that all got started, but it became a regular tradition for a number of years. 

Fellow Book Lover, Greg Jao, VP at InterVarsity, USA
My former colleague, supervisor and friend, Greg Jao, has served as the emcee for a number of the Triennial Urbana Missions Conventions. IV plans and runs these large conventions for college students from around the country and around the world. Greg is known for his clever whit and great book plugs. He also believes as I do that a good student leader is a good reader. Let me give a quick "shout out" to my friend Greg. He has just been appointed as a Vice President for InterVarsity, USA. Congratulations Greg!

Byron Borger in action.
I already mentioned Byron Borger, but let me share more in connection with the second reason why I love books. This poster to the right actually sums it up quite well. In Parenting Is Heart Work, Scott and Joanne describe the nine functions of the heart. One of these functions of the heart is to provide a "wrestling place." This is where our life experiences, learning, values, principles, issues and Biblical principles all get sorted out. We "wrestle" with these in our heart and that leads us learn and grow and to convictions and take action. Books help us along in this "wrestling" process. I am very grateful for Byron’s commitment to providing great books for those who are life-long learners. If you're ever in need of a book recommendation, just contact Byron. 

Now I spend much of my time telling people about books on parenting. I spoke with a parent this week who told me the story of how reading Parenting is Heart Work changed her family. Moving from a behavior modification approach to a heart-based approach was transformational. I love hearing stories like that. And that leads me to the third reason I love books. A good author knows how to tell a story. I love good stories. This is often different from kind of careful analysis and study that also comes from a good book. Stories teach important lessons, but they're also just fun. And I also love to have fun and I love to promote FUN!

In 2012, Nora and Fred St. Laurant launched Book Fun Magazine. It's growing like wildfire. The readership has grown beyond 400,000 and is composed primarily of people who are passionate about books as well as many other things. They are projecting a million readers by the end of 2015. Their success seems to be based on the the power of story. All of the articles in the magazine focus on life-changing stories. Authors share stories from their journey. Readers get to know another side of their favorite authors.   It's a unique approach and becoming very popular. 

You can get a free preview of the magazine at any time and the annual subscription is very reasonable. The January issue also features an article by Dr. Scott Turansky on page 100. Fifty Book Fun readers will be reading and reviewing Motivate Your Child next month to help us keep the momentum building.  Many of the Book Fun readers are parents and we expect them to be very interested in the resources we have to offer. Many of them actually attended our Facebook Party this week. 

Tell us what you love about books?  


Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. Ed, it is real honor to be mentioned by you in this way, and to be associated with such good work as your old book tables and Greg Jao's energetic promotion of great titles. (His little booklet, "The Missional Mind" is fantastic, and even mentions Hearts & Minds! Yay.) Anyway, your enthusiasm should be contagious. May you continue to know the fruit of your efforts as many fall in love with the printed page, which, in turn, can help them grow into habits of faithful living for God's glory and the world's good. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your work! See you soon!

    1. It's my pleasure Byron. This is what partnership is all about. Looking forward to seeing you on Friday night.

  2. Hi Byron, Ed is on a weekend trip with Young Life. I know I speak for him and me both about how we appreciate you and the work you are doing. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend! --Scott Turansky