We're trying to take action to prepare for this in a few different ways. For one, I'm trying to lose weight. So far I'm down about 25 lbs., but I have about 50 more to go. The other way in which we're trying to 'trim the fat' is to get rid of stuff.
A human being can accumulate a lot of stuff. And a book geek can accumulate a large library. So my mind of course turns to which books I can get rid of, which I need to store, and which some kind soul might like to "borrow" from me for three years.
What gets my pulse racing (again, book nerd), is thinking... "what books will I take with me?!" So, my new obsessive quest is to identify 10 books to take with me. It's kind of inspiring to think about really. I want to take books that I will enjoy. I also recognize this as an opportunity to 'force' myself to read something that I might not normally pick up. For example, I might take some old books with me, cutting out my ability to go buy the latest flashiest coolest book that appeals to me.
Here are some categories I'm considering:
- the Bible
- Bible reference
- other books about my faith that should prove beneficial
- books about the faith and culture of the people in our new region of the world
- other random books
These days I try to write notes to my son in my Bible, and my wife pointed out that our host culture is one that would be offended at the idea that one would write on pages that are supposedly from God. So I'll need to have two Bibles. Additionally, I don't plan to leave home without my son's Jesus Storybook Bible. Which brings my count to three. Argh!
I'm not sure what to bring for this category, but I want some texts that could help me, even if I'm trapped in a world of slow or no Internet access. I've considered Carson/Moo/Douglas' Introduction to the New Testament, which gives an overview of each book. Not sure what else would be good
Other books about my faith
I may take two or three books on a common theme here - seeing and teaching Christ in the Old Testament. In fact, while looking through my library, I discovered that I already own a book that my friend Wes recommended on the topic - The Unfolding Mystery. (Apparently my wife owned it and I didn't know it! Awesome.) Additionally, I have started reading a collection of Spurgeon's sermons on the topic, from the Treasury of Spurgeon on the Life and Work of Our Lord series. This would qualify as one book that I wouldn't be very disciplined to persevere through sitting in my house in America. It is slow to read and at times hard to understand -- but I can't seem to go more than a few pages without a really helpful insight.
Books on culture
I'd love to take a biography or two, and some resources recommended by others who have lived among the same people.
Other random books
For some time I've wanted to pick up Kevin Mitnick's Art of Deception. It's about social engineering -- bypassing the human element of security. Which of these books does not belong, right??? :-) Also I might take the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Does that count as three? :-)
Let me know what you'd change about my list and tip me off of any must-take books. If you don't, I will be forced to write a script that analyzes all of my friend Steve's top 5 books lists and picks the most popular of each. And what fun would that be?