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I have to agree with old Tom. Life without books would be – dull; dark; dreary; dismal. Life without books would be black and white. We wouldn’t actually die without books (sorry, Mr. Jefferson), but life would certainly be tedious and tiresome,

In a letter to his old friend and fellow Founding Father John Adams on June 10, 1815, Jefferson was sharing his heart when he spoke those words. He didn’t love books because there was no Internet, TV, iPod, DVD player or video game to keep him happy. Books were as important to him as food. In fact, a fellow book lover, Erasmus, said a few centuries earlier, “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

I shudder to think where I would be today without books, particularly the Book of Books. It has been my guide and road map since I was 13 years old. In that love letter to humanity my Heavenly Father taught me to be a man; to love; to have compassion; to serve others.

But God has used many other books to impact my life. As a teenager, I read four or five books a day. Often in my Junior High School classes, I would read a book with one eye while I was taking notes. Books were my constant companions, even friends. I was able to escape into books when my alcoholic father became especially abusive.

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Today between ministry and business I can barely read one book a week. But I treasure the time I spend with them. Yesterday when my daughter and I were on our morning walk we met some teens at their bus stop. One told us, “I hate books,” and the others agreed.

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I asked if they would like to travel the world. When they said they would, I told them I can go anywhere in the world without leaving home – with books. I can sit at the feet of the wisest people in the world – through books. And I can become a better, more knowledgeable, capable man; a better husband, father, and pastor – all through the wonderful gift of books.

Books are the distilled wisdom and knowledge of the ages. Try them – you will learn to love them as I do.

This article was originally posted at


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Dr. Tom Barrett

Dr. Tom Barrett has been a pastor for over 40 years and currently oversees ordained ministers in South Florida. He has always been a bi-vocational minister, working in the financial services arena as a Branch Manager and National Vice President. He is a Patriot who has studied and taught the Constitution in both church and secular settings. A prolific author he has written a book on Conservative principles (The Best of Conservative Truth) and has written over a thousand feature articles that have been published in local and national newspapers as well as on the Internet. He speaks nationally on the Christian foundations of our nation and its Constitution, and internationally on Biblical financial principles. He has lectured at seminaries, universities, economic summits, churches, and the International Money Shows. His websites are (writing); (ministry); (precious metals), and www.DrTom.TV (personal). His work is followed by thousands at


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