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Author Topic: Economical access to Orthodox books  (Read 990 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 05, 2014, 05:14:59 PM »

There are so many good books recommended and reviewed in this forum. But my parish does not have a library, and the local library system and even the college libraries here to which I have access do not carry these books. (Well, beyond Met. Ware's most-popular stuff.) At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive. Can anyone share a similar experience or give any advice?
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 05:17:00 PM »

I only found George Florovsky's books when I looked beyond Ware.
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 05:19:15 PM »

There are so many good books recommended and reviewed in this forum. But my parish does not have a library, and the local library system and even the college libraries here to which I have access do not carry these books. (Well, beyond Met. Ware's most-popular stuff.) At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive. Can anyone share a similar experience or give any advice?

Surely you can get some of them through Interlibrary Loan. 

And if you can get to a monastery they might have a lot in their library.  Obviously a seminary would too. 
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 05:25:39 PM »

There are so many good books recommended and reviewed in this forum. But my parish does not have a library, and the local library system and even the college libraries here to which I have access do not carry these books. (Well, beyond Met. Ware's most-popular stuff.) At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive. Can anyone share a similar experience or give any advice?

Surely you can get some of them through Interlibrary Loan. 

And if you can get to a monastery they might have a lot in their library.  Obviously a seminary would too. 

We live in the Wild Northwest. Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 05:29:27 PM »

There are so many good books recommended and reviewed in this forum. But my parish does not have a library, and the local library system and even the college libraries here to which I have access do not carry these books. (Well, beyond Met. Ware's most-popular stuff.) At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive. Can anyone share a similar experience or give any advice?

Surely you can get some of them through Interlibrary Loan. 

And if you can get to a monastery they might have a lot in their library.  Obviously a seminary would too. 

We live in the Wild Northwest. Smiley

But your public library has to be on the ILL system.  It might cost the postage but you should be able to borrow from anywhere in the country.  They can see who has the books in WorldCat.  You can too online. 
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 05:51:21 PM »

The most economical sources I have found (and can sometimes find books I want on) are

  • alibris.com - usually separate stores (if you check the booksellers there, you can sometimes go directly to their websites if they are large enough)
  • half.com
  • ebay, but I have yet to buy one from there, might be able to do better with combined shipping if you're lucky enough
  • amazon.com private seller


That's about it. I keep wishing I could find something at a local Goodwill, but I never have.

In many cases, you're going to have to pay at least about $3.50 per book for shipping, even if you can find them for a penny sale price (which I never see ones I want quite that cheap, but sometimes I can find them for a dollar or so). The shipping adds too much for me really, so if you can find a cheap seller or someone on eBay, etc. who will combine shipping, you might be able to save. If you have to pay shipping on an interlibrary loan, it might be worth seeing if you can own the book for an extra dollar or so.

I have found a tremendous amount of material online. Sometimes it's not the whole thing, but only chapters. If you haven't been to ccel.org they have a ton of ancient books. But sometimes I have found longer versions on websites. I remember when I read St. Cyril, I found only a few page summary on CCEL but there was a Catholic website that had the 100+page full text. What I will do is to sometimes put in a block of text - couple of sentences, within quotes - into google search and sometimes I turn up a book or part of a book online in some obscure place that way.

I don't suppose there's anyone at your church that might be interested in loaning things back and forth?

I am really interested in some of the texts put out by the monasteries sometimes, but if you were to buy those, it's usually better to buy full price as the second-hand ones are almost always more - sometimes much more.

Hope something here helps. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 05:54:22 PM »


But your public library has to be on the ILL system.  It might cost the postage but you should be able to borrow from anywhere in the country.  They can see who has the books in WorldCat.  You can too online.  

If only that were true. Our county won't do ILL anymore. They said they used to, but too many people wouldn't come pick them up, so they don't do it anymore.

The neighboring county will, but it's a $50/year fee, and I think they charge for additional fees for ILL for people outside the county, so it's a wash for me.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 05:56:22 PM »

There are so many good books recommended and reviewed in this forum. But my parish does not have a library, and the local library system and even the college libraries here to which I have access do not carry these books. (Well, beyond Met. Ware's most-popular stuff.) At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive. Can anyone share a similar experience or give any advice?

Surely you can get some of them through Interlibrary Loan. 

And if you can get to a monastery they might have a lot in their library.  Obviously a seminary would too. 

We live in the Wild Northwest. Smiley

But your public library has to be on the ILL system.  It might cost the postage but you should be able to borrow from anywhere in the country.  They can see who has the books in WorldCat.  You can too online. 

Thank you, very much. Not to start a rabbit trail, but our library's link to Summit just takes us to the local university's library website, to which only current students can log in. I guess I'll talk to the librarians there (my wife is an alumna and is supposed to have access).
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 05:57:19 PM »

Do they have to be hard copies, or are you good with ebooks too?
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 05:58:10 PM »


But your public library has to be on the ILL system.  It might cost the postage but you should be able to borrow from anywhere in the country.  They can see who has the books in WorldCat.  You can too online.  

If only that were true. Our county won't do ILL anymore. They said they used to, but too many people wouldn't come pick them up, so they don't do it anymore.

The neighboring county will, but it's a $50/year fee, and I think they charge for additional fees for ILL for people outside the county, so it's a wash for me.

Wow.  That's a real pity.  ILL can be a great thing. 
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 06:07:11 PM »

Also you could try Thriftbooks. A lot of books start at $3.99 with free shipping in the US (I don't know if they mean Lower 48 or not). They also often have sales. As an example, here's a copy of Eusebius' History of the Church for $6.98

http://www.thriftbooks.com/viewdetails.aspx?isbn=0140445358
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 06:12:14 PM »

The most economical sources I have found (and can sometimes find books I want on) are

  • alibris.com - usually separate stores (if you check the booksellers there, you can sometimes go directly to their websites if they are large enough)
  • half.com
  • ebay, but I have yet to buy one from there, might be able to do better with combined shipping if you're lucky enough
  • amazon.com private seller


That's about it. I keep wishing I could find something at a local Goodwill, but I never have.

At least the books I've wanted so far are either ( a ) unavailable used or ( b ) as or more expensive used (such as Alibris wanting to sell me books straight from Greece).

Quote
I have found a tremendous amount of material online. Sometimes it's not the whole thing, but only chapters. If you haven't been to ccel.org they have a ton of ancient books. But sometimes I have found longer versions on websites. I remember when I read St. Cyril, I found only a few page summary on CCEL but there was a Catholic website that had the 100+page full text. What I will do is to sometimes put in a block of text - couple of sentences, within quotes - into google search and sometimes I turn up a book or part of a book online in some obscure place that way.

Oh so true, and may God reward our brothers and sisters who labor in this way.

Quote
I don't suppose there's anyone at your church that might be interested in loaning things back and forth?

Oh probably! Smiley They are a super-helpful bunch.

Quote
Hope something here helps. Smiley

Yes, you're very very helpful, and thanks! Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 06:13:07 PM »

Do they have to be hard copies, or are you good with ebooks too?

Ebooks are perfectly welcome (for now Wink ).
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2014, 06:39:00 PM »

Do they have to be hard copies, or are you good with ebooks too?

Ebooks are perfectly welcome (for now Wink ).

Very decent collection here.
Fr. Hopko's famous primer series here (to read online only, unfortunately).
Fr. Ted's blog series available as PDF here.

I'll send you a PM about more. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2014, 07:24:37 PM »

I had a collection of liturgical and historical books but gave them away to the local library.
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2014, 11:04:21 PM »

Do they have to be hard copies, or are you good with ebooks too?

Ebooks are perfectly welcome (for now Wink ).

Very decent collection here.
Fr. Hopko's famous primer series here (to read online only, unfortunately).
Fr. Ted's blog series available as PDF here.

I'll send you a PM about more. Smiley

I will check the links here too, but can I please have a copy of the PM? I would SO appreciate it!
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2014, 11:12:24 PM »

At least the books I've wanted so far are either ( a ) unavailable used or ( b ) as or more expensive used (such as Alibris wanting to sell me books straight from Greece).

You're wanting monastic books, aren't you?  Grin

Sigh ... if the monastery sells it for $15, Amazon will usually list it for $50-80. Or something similarly outrageous.

I have not seen that on Alibris. Actually ... I don't buy from Alibris itself, though you can get free shipping over some amount. I usually buy from a secondary seller on Alibris, who will sell much cheaper (like Amazon). I just wish they gave a better break for multiple shipping.

Honestly, I think most of the best books, people just don't sell. Once they own them, they keep them.

Oh, hey, I thought of something else!

I was SOOOOO wanting the Philokalia, but I couldn't even do it one volume at a time, much less the whole set. I managed to find it ALL ONLINE in a pdf, so it's free.

Huh ... I went to search for the link, and I don't know which one I used, but it seems to be widely available. If you search "Philokalia.pdf" you get at least a half-dozen places to choose from to download the whole text.

Anyway, thought I'd mention that. I love the Philokalia. Smiley

Hope you find what you're looking for - and jobs too! I am looking for one as well, so I know how that is. Prayers for you and your wife!
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2014, 11:08:04 PM »

Make a wishlist on Amazon.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll find someone willing to gift one to you.  Smiley

Speaking of lists, do you have one of the titles your looking for?  Perhaps you could find other members of the community who'd be willing to sell them to you at a reduced price.
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 03:05:26 AM »

I buy books on amazon. they are usually 10-15 dollars.

There is a whole series of the fathers you can buy, they are not very expensive. They are not all very good since some of the editors/translators like to take out chunks of the writings so that disturbs me, but many of them are all intact. here is a short list of some of them and their prices:

---

On the Human Condition, by Saint Basil

he mostly goes verse by verse in a fair amount of genesis, and also speaks about adam and eve

http://www.amazon.com/The-Human-Condition-22Popular-Patristics-22/dp/0881412945/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1ZJZCWD6ASBMSXKNF5MM

9.99 for kindle, low as 9.80 for used

---

On Social Justice, by Saint Basil

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881410535/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 for kindle, low as 7.40 used

---

On Wealth and Poverty, by Saint John Chrysostom

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/088141039X/ref=oh_details_o04_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 for kindle, low as 6.44 used

---

The Cult of the Saints, by Saint John Chrysostom

Mostly his speeches/homilies/sermons or whatever the technical term is on the saint's feast days,, I think. He speaks about the life of the saint and various other things, I highly recommend.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/088141302X/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 got kindle, low as 12.46 used

---

Three Treaties on the Divine Images, by Saint John of Damascus

I think every convert should be required to read this if they have any concerns about icons. Here Saint John defends the use of icons against the arguments of the iconoclasts.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881412457/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 on kindle, low as 2.26 used

---

The Book of Pastoral Rule, by Saint Pope Gregory the Dialogist

More of advice to priests on how to deal with specific parishioners, it is interesting regardless. I really like Pope Gregory

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881413186/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 on kindle, low as 8.75 used

---

Letters from the Desert: A Selection of Questions and Responses, from Saint Barsanuphius and Saint John

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881412546/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1

9.99 on kindle, low as 11.31 used

---

Six Books on the Priesthood, by Saint John Chrysostom (Although some belief this is not from Saint John)

Talks a lot about how he is unworthy to be a priest or bishop, the qualities of a priest or bishop and what is expected.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0913836389/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

low as 5.48 used, no kindle

---

The Triads, by Saint Gregory Palamas

Difficult read, many specific words. But I highly recommend because in this book he defends hesychasm against Barlaam (The heretic who is anathematized) who thought hesychasm is basically simple delusion. He also argues against the idea that secular learning can lead one closer to God, as if knowing how the stars moved or how plants grew will give you divine knowledge/wisdom. I do not know how to explain, it has been awhile, I am trying to summarize these quickly for you in case your interested.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0809124475/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

low as 11.79 used, no kindle

---

On the Holy Spirit, by Saint Basil

http://www.amazon.com/On-Holy-Spirit-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881418765/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=11BV7MN5A61020F14NKT

low as 12.49 used

---

On Marriage and Family Life, by Saint John Chrysostom

http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Family-Life-Saint-Chrysostom/dp/0913836869/ref=pd_sim_b_29?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 12.49 used

---

On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ, by Saint Maximus the Confessor

http://www.amazon.com/On-Cosmic-Mystery-Jesus-Christ/dp/088141249X/ref=pd_sim_b_39?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

9.99 on kindle, low as 7.50 used

---

On the Soul and the Resurrection, by Saint Gregory of Nyssa

http://www.amazon.com/On-Soul-Resurrection-Gregory-Nyssa/dp/0881411205/ref=pd_sim_b_40?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 5 used, no kindle

---

On the Apostolic Preaching, by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

http://www.amazon.com/Apostolic-Preaching-Irenaeus-Saint-Bishop/dp/0881411744/ref=pd_sim_b_36?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 11.38 new??

---

On the Unity of Christ, by Saint Cyril of Alexandria

http://www.amazon.com/Unity-Christ-Saint-Cyril-Alexandria/dp/0881411337/ref=pd_sim_b_32?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 5 used

---

On Christian Doctrine and Practice, by Saint Basil

http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Doctrine-Practice-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881414581/ref=pd_sim_b_79?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 10.10 used

---

Against the Heresies, by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Irenaeus-Lyons-Against-Heresies/dp/1453624600/ref=pd_sim_b_75?ie=UTF8&refRID=0MHZZCH2EV979CKPKPFQ

low as 14.71 used

---


Almost or all of the above books at the end have a list of more of the series you can buy


---

I also recommend the Confessions of Augustine, and the Imitation of Christ by Augustine. It was actually the first theological book I ever read, those two together I highly recommend them. Not sure where you can get them though.

---

This is not from the fathers, but might be interesting, I liked it.

Monastic Wisdom: The Letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

The letters written by the Elder Joseph. He was on the holy mountain, and also interesting thing I did not know at the time until I opened the book, Elder Ephraim of the Monastery of Arizona was a disciple (not really the correct term, what is it? Spiritual child? The word for when a younger monks live with an older monk who teaches them) of his on the holy mountain. I was quite surprised reading the introduction to the book, and seeing it signed by the Elder Ephraim. Anyway, a good read if your interested in hesychasm or the Jesus prayer. And you can compare what he says with Saint Gregory Palamas in the other book I listed!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0966700015/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

low as 3 dollars used, no kindle

---

So, I do not see much point in reading Bishop Kallistos Ware or Florovsky, or Fr. Hopko since there are so many better things to read! The Holy Fathers are out there, and not many are translated yet, but we have a large wealth of them enough already translated that I see no reason to go anywhere else unless you exhaust all that is available. That is just my opinion.

Further one more think for you.


On monachos, you can read many Fathers here for free on your computer:

http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/texts



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Also yes, make a amazon wish list
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2014, 04:04:41 AM »

Ccel.org has loads of Church Fathers for free. For example here is On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandria:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.titlepage.html?highlight=on,the,incarnation#highligh
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2014, 05:42:27 AM »

So, I do not see much point in reading Bishop Kallistos Ware or Florovsky, or Fr. Hopko since there are so many better things to read! The Holy Fathers are out there, and not many are translated yet, but we have a large wealth of them enough already translated that I see no reason to go anywhere else unless you exhaust all that is available. That is just my opinion.

I couldn't disagree more. The bulk of the Fathers' work is anything but beginner-friendly. They were writing for a whole other type of readers, in a whole other kind of society. People new to the faith need guidance into the Fathers' work by modern people who can make the necessary associations. Walk first, run later, fly much later.

The CCEL library is good (and the PDF versions are free to download, while the epub/mobi versions have a small charge). Here is a calendar of how to go through all that bulk.
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« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2014, 02:56:15 PM »

The Holy Fathers are out there, and not many are translated yet, but we have a large wealth of them enough already translated that I see no reason to go anywhere else unless you exhaust all that is available. That is just my opinion.

Further one more think for you.


On monachos, you can read many Fathers here for free on your computer:

http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/texts



--

Also yes, make a amazon wish list


Thanks for that link. Smiley

Always happy to find ones I can read online. Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2014, 03:00:09 PM »


The bulk of the Fathers' work is anything but beginner-friendly. They were writing for a whole other type of readers, in a whole other kind of society. People new to the faith need guidance into the Fathers' work by modern people who can make the necessary associations. Walk first, run later, fly much later.

The CCEL library is good (and the PDF versions are free to download, while the epub/mobi versions have a small charge). Here is a calendar of how to go through all that bulk.

I have wondered at times ... some things I really kind of trudge through, and I realize even a few months later that when I first read it, I really had no idea what it was saying - not really.  I read the words, but the actual importance of them and how things relate, I needed some filling in the blanks first.

Thanks for the calendar. I have looked at the mountain of writings and wondered how to start - other than when someone would recommend this or that. Still so much to read, and since I know not ALL is accepted by the Church, I'm a little cautious.

Baby steps, lol ...

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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2014, 11:55:51 PM »

So much thanks to all of you! Especially Arachne and the trouble she went to.

I tend to agree with Gunnar, with the exception that I don't think what's worked for me could be any sort of universal rule. It was reading Gregory of Nyssa that finally got me out to a liturgy a few months ago. When I was sixteen, a friend and I (we had never heard of Orthodoxy) pooled our small income and agreed to buy a volume every few months of a Fathers series (from a Protestant publisher). And a few years ago it was John Climacus that opened my mind to the life-long progress of salvation (as opposed to the insta-salvation peddled by preachers) and much other spiritual enlightenment. If it weren't for these encounters, I'm afraid Orthodox writings might have left me cold (I'm especially thinking of everyone's favorite series of apologetics tracts, written by German-Lutheran converts in a Baptist style for an Antiochan press Wink ).
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2014, 09:42:02 AM »

http://www.paperbackswap.com

Orthodox books are rare but I've found a few. I requested an Orthodox children's book for our parish nursery and the nice lady sent me a box of Orthodox children's books!
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2014, 01:38:25 AM »

Wouldn't this be a wonderful book to own?

http://www.hymnary.org/hymnal/HPEC1908

I wonder if anyone has an opinion on the quality of the translations. They can't be particularly accurate, rendered in Victorian verse?
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« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2014, 01:56:42 AM »

It's hard to say with translations.  For example, "18a. Hail! cheerful Light, of his pure glory poured" is commonly named "O, Gladsome Light".  The translation is accurate, but wouldn't be very good with the tune I'm accustomed to.  As a reference, it seems like an interesting addition to the bookshelf, but to actually use in church, the local parish would have to be pretty dedicated to use it.
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« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2014, 03:00:47 AM »

How is this in Convert Issues?

Books are cheap.

Get a job. Buy some.
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2014, 03:46:49 AM »

At the same time, I and my wife are unemployed and most of these books are expensive.
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Have your skills in crafting amish furniture diminished at all?

My Lossky and Met. Zizioulas books should be worth in exchange for a couch. And my Fr. Meletios book in exchange for a decorative screen divider. And whatever I have of Ware's books for a coffee table?

My time would be better spent punishing myself with the complete Philokalia in .pdf format someone gave me here.

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We live in the Wild Northwest. Smiley
So I should expect my furniture to arrive in about five months.
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2014, 09:50:03 AM »

My Lossky and Met. Zizioulas books should be worth in exchange for a couch. And my Fr. Meletios book in exchange for a decorative screen divider. And whatever I have of Ware's books for a coffee table?

Only if you're happy with plywood and superglue versions. Otherwise, your entire library of hardback first editions might pay for a side table.
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2014, 12:06:07 PM »

(I keep reading Orthonorm's signature as, "Ignorance is not a lack, but a person.")
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2014, 12:18:10 PM »

Hi, Porter. If you go to Google Books and look up the name St. John Chrysostom, you'll find pdfs and epubs of his sermon collections. Free! Smiley

There's also orthodoxsermons.org and orthodoxebooks.org. They're both Coptic, but the selection is good, and they're free.

Last, there are ccel.org and librivox.org. CCEL has some early Christian materials. Librivox has free audiobook files of the Bible. At least I think they've recorded most of it.

That ought to save you a couple bucks. Wink  angel
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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2014, 12:56:29 PM »

Thanks, Biro, your links are appreciated.

Geh, my only skills are things like data-asset management and workflow solutions, but you should be aware that anybody can put "Amish" on a product, and at present it's a fashion among charlatans to do so.
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2014, 06:29:22 PM »

Thanks, Biro, your links are appreciated.

Geh, my only skills are things like data-asset management and workflow solutions, but you should be aware that anybody can put "Amish" on a product, and at present it's a fashion among charlatans to do so.

Amish Data Management Solutions, Inc.
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2014, 07:11:57 PM »

Hi, Porter. If you go to Google Books and look up the name St. John Chrysostom, you'll find pdfs and epubs of his sermon collections. Free! Smiley

There's also orthodoxsermons.org and orthodoxebooks.org. They're both Coptic, but the selection is good, and they're free.

Last, there are ccel.org and librivox.org. CCEL has some early Christian materials. Librivox has free audiobook files of the Bible. At least I think they've recorded most of it.

That ought to save you a couple bucks. Wink  angel

Yes, thank you, I had not heard of several of these. They should be very helpful. Bless you!
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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2014, 08:44:53 PM »

You're welcome. Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2014, 03:27:33 PM »

Look for used books on amazon or ebay, often they are in excellent condition for about $5 or less.
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