I was reading through The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis and thought the following quote interesting:
“We should read devout and simple books as willingly as we read those that are lofty and profound. Do not let the writer’s authority or learning influence you, be it little or great, but let the love pof pure truth attract you to read. Do not ask ‘Who said this?’ but pay attention to what is said. People pass away, but the truth of the Lord endures forever. God speaks to us in many ways without considering a person’s status.” – p. 35
Essentially, I think he is right, though I must admit I do not live up to this fully. Probably close to 100% of the time, I will determine a book’s purchase-worthiness based upon the author and/or his/her credentials. Sometimes, if I see a book with an interesting title or cover and the author is someone I don’t know, I pick it up to read about the author. If they attended (and preferably finished) at a reputable academic insitution, I’ll give it a second thought. If not, more likely than not I will reshelve it. Though particular institutions don’t guarantee that I will buy a paticular book, we must admit: names carry weight.
Another thing that might lead you to think I am snobbish in this matter is that it really bugs me when I read the author’s info and they’re referred to as “Dr. so-and-so,” but do not list their degrees or the institutions at which they were earned (if they were earned at all). Perhaps some do it out of humility, but I suspect that most do it because they want “Dr.” in front of their names so that unsuspecting readers will believe them to be an authority, or at least knowledgable, in the field.
So, does this make me a snob? Anyone else tend this way?
Αυτω η δοξα,