Saturday, January 27, 2007

InterVarsity Press

In the aftermath of a busy week, the Lord graciously had our youngest sleep for a couple hours while my wife went to work out at the YMCA and my other three kids played in our basement. That allowed me to lay in bed and finish reading Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength.: An Anecedotal History of InterVarsity Press, 1947-2007.

I've been involved with the Christian publishing industry for a good chunk of my life--first as a Christian bookstore employee (at the long-defunct Sonrise Shoppe in Fairfax, Virginia, and Ark and Dove in Alexandria, Virginia), then as a academic book buyer (at Westminster Seminary Campus Bookstore and LifeWay Campus Stores), and now as an author. Because of this involvement, I've always been fascinated with the publishing process and especially with the acquisition part of the business (though my wife would say that I'm simply fascinated with books, period).

For someone like me, then, this book was simply a wonderfully breezy, insightful and honest inside look at one of the more important Christian publishing companies in the country. I was particularly impressed by the ways that the IVCF's approach to ministry initially influenced IVP's publishing program. I also enjoyed the way the authors described the transition from "family business" to "corporate business" that IVP has gone through over the past 15 years; it was an interesting reflection on the maturation of Christian publishers and publishing.

All in all, a book that at first glance might seem a little dry was actually a fast-paced and entertaining look at one of the more important Christian publishers in the country. Highly recommended, especially for lazy Saturday afternoons!

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