theological.jpgEvery once in a while, a sort of alarm goes off inside me. Like a moth to that strange blue light, I feel an inward pull to Stillwater for book buying. Well, I and a handful of others decided to act on that inward pulling and take the 45 minute drive out to Stillwater, MN. I love buying books.

The highlight of the trip to Stillwater is always Loomes. Loomes is so big they have two separate buildings (there is actually one additional bookstore to these “two,” but its theological selection is slim and overpriced). The first store is downtown: Loomes Antiquarian, who are currently running (all year, I guess) a 20% off sale because they have so much inventory to move through the store. Here is where you get your philosophy, literature, NT commentaries, Biblical studies, Loeb classical editions, and a number of other finds. This store houses a modest 100,000 titles, with a second floor devoted to Christian materials and philosophy.

Then there’s the church. Loomes owns a church about seven blocks away, and this is where they house their Theological bookstore (this one is the one in the picture). Here you get your theology, patristics studies, medieval studies, hymnals, Greek grammars, etc. The entire church is filled with books. The balcony is filled with books. Both of them. You keep walking and you keep finding books. The church houses up to 275,000 books.
Ahhh. It is a thing of beauty.

There are two problems with Loomes (only minor). First, they have mostly Catholic stuff. It is hard, for instance, to find Puritan writers like Edwards or Owen. I think they burn all the Baptist books (I’m kidding). The second problem is the cost of the volumes. You’re not often going to get a real “steal” there; they’re a little pricey. They don’t have much in paperback, and a hardback will often run you $20 to $30. These do not negate the value of the trip, of course. But you should go in with your eyes wide open.

Today I picked up these finds:

  • Saint Basil, The Letters, vol 2 (Loeb Classical Library; trans. Roy J. Deferrari; Cambridge: Harvard, 1950). HB
  • Saint Basil, The Letters, vol 3 (Loeb Classical Library; trans. Roy J. Deferrari; Cambridge: Harvard, 1953). HB
  • Saint Basil, The Letters, vol 4 (Loeb Classical Library; trans. Roy J. Deferrari; Cambridge: Harvard, 1961). HB
  • S. L. Greenslade, trans. and ed. Early Latin Theology: Selections from Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, and Jerome (Library of Christian Classics 5; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1956). HB
  • St. Irenaeus, The Proof of the Apostolic Preaching (Ancient Christian Writers 16; trans. and ed. Joseph P. Smith; Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1952). HB
  • Fred O. Francis and J. Paul Sampley. Pauline Parallels (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984). HB
  • C. S. Lewis. The Pilgrim’s Regress (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1944). HB.

Of the buying of books there is no end.