Where to Buy Books

The question of where to buy books needs two answers depending on whether we are talking about new books or used books. New books can be purchased directly from publishers’ websites, from Christian bookstores, from online Christian sources, and, of course, from Amazon. Used books can be purchased from secular and Christian used bookstores, thrift stores, online booksellers, and miscellaneous sources.

New Books

Most publishers will allow you to purchase books directly from their websites. However, this is normally not a wise decision. You will generally have to pay the full list price. Sometimes a small discount will be offered. Either way, you will have to pay the shipping cost, which will be at least $5 on one book. It is good to research books on publisher websites because extended descriptions, excerpts, and the table of contents are usually provided. Just don’t buy books there unless you can’t get the book anywhere else. It is getting harder and harder to find a Christian bookstore that sells anything worth buying. Much of what they sell is not even books, and the books they do sell are mostly fiction or junk. A bookstore attached to a Christian college is a better choice if you are fortunate enough to live near one. But like publishers’ websites, expect to pay full list price. There are some online Christian sources where you can purchase new books at a discount. Most notably is Christianbook, which can be reached at christianbook.com or 1-800-CHRISTIAN. This used to be called Christian Book Distributors (CBD). For years CBD or Christianbook sold several of my books, but then in 2020 abruptly decided to cut ties with some of their smaller vendors without telling them. Amazon is generally your best bet for new books, especially if you know exactly what you want.

Used Books

Used Christian books can be found at both secular and Christian used bookstores. The latter sometimes also has a small selection of new Christian books. I frequent Brightlight Books in Fern Park, Florida, which also has an overstock warehouse down the street and a store inside Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, Florida. The main store has about an even mix of secular and religious books, mostly used. The seminary store has mainly religious books, mostly used. Thrift stores like Goodwill sometimes have religious books. In the days before the Internet, I used to get monthly lists of used books for sale from book dealers, and then would frantically call them to reserve the books I wanted before they were sold to someone else. Now, as we know, everything is online. Two of the best online marketplaces for used books from a wide variety of dealers are Alibris (alibris.com) and AbeBooks (abebooks.com). Their listings will also include used books offered for sale through Amazon. Miscellaneous sources for used books include garage sales, retiring preachers, and library sales.

Speaking of Calvinism

In addition to my review of Dave Hunt’s book mentioned in the previous post, I have reviewed 11 other books on the subject of Calvinism:

Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views, Dave Hunt and James R. White (Multnomah Publishers, 2004).
Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism: An Inductive Mediate Theology of Salvation, C. Gordon Olson (Global Gospel Publishers, 2002).
Grace, Faith, Free Will; Contrasting Views of Salvation: Calvinism & Arminianism, Robert E. Picirilli (Randall House Publications, 2002).
Why I Am Not an Arminian, Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams (InterVarsity Press, 2004).
Why I Am Not a Calvinist, Jerry L. Walls and Joseph R. Dongell (InterVarsity Press, 2004).
The Potter’s Freedom, James R. White (Calvary Press Publishing, 2000).
The Calvinism Debate, David W. Cloud (Way of Life Literature, 2006).
Does God Lie? Faith then Elect or Elect then Faith, Melvin R. Nelson (Xulon Press, 2007).
The Writings of John Calvin: An Introductory Guide, exp. ed., Wulfert de Greef (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).
For Calvinism, Michael Horton (Zondervan, 2011).
Against Calvinism, Roger Olson (Zondervan, 2011).

Speaking of My Book on Calvinism

In 2002, Loyal Publishing released What Love Is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God, by Dave Hunt (1926-2013). The whole book was plagiarized from my book The Other Side of Calvinism. Hunt quotes me throughout, and rightly credits me, but also borrows heavily from me without attribution. I never made an issue of the plagiarism because the publication of Hunt’s book increased the sales of my book. When you read a book that quotes someone over and over again, it makes you want to go to the source. This is not the only thing wrong with Hunt’s book, as I pointed out in my review of the book in 2002.

It wasn’t until after Hunt’s death that I discovered that a second “updated and expanded” edition in hardcover had been published by The Berean Call in 2004, and a similar third edition in 2006. A publisher’s note on page 13 of the third edition reads: “This third edition also includes an extensive, newly expanded author/subject index to better assist readers and researchers.” A fourth edition was published in 2013. It contains a note at the end of the table of contents that reads: “Chapters 30 and 31 from the first three editions have been extracted from the forth edition, to make this volume more portable, and to preserve its scholarly emphasis. Material from these two chapters is featured in a separate book, A Calvinist’s Honest Doubts (a fictional story based on true life accounts), also available from the publisher.” Actually, this note doesn’t fully apply to the first edition since it does not contain the content of what is now chapter 30.

The Other Side of Calvinism

My first book is 30 years old this year, as is the business I started to publish it: Vance Publications. The first edition of The Other Side of Calvinism was published in 1991. It was about 475 pages in a 5.5 x 8.5 paperback format. The writing was somewhat rough and the font used was a poor choice (I typeset the book when desktop publishing was in its infancy). The book met a need, and sold very well. A re-typeset second printing was issued in 1994.

After many years of research and re-writing, an 800-page, 6 x 9, hardcover revised edition was published in 1999. The fifth printing of this book was done in 2014. Year after year, this is always my best-selling book. I am almost out of books, and will need to do a sixth printing soon. About 10 or so years ago, I actually thought about doing a third edition, but had so many other things to write that I figured if it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Welcome to The Preacher’s Library

Thanks for visiting The Preacher’s Library. This site has been in the works for a very long time. All posts are by Laurence M. Vance.

Two bookshelves from the library of Laurence M. Vance

I encourage you to begin by reading the About TPL and About LmV information. The titles, authors, and publishers links in the menu will eventually contain an A-Z list by title, author, and publisher of all books mentioned on this site aside from my own.  Reviews by LmV contains a list of all of the publishers of the books I have reviewed, all of the publications where my reviews have appeared, and, eventually, an A-Z list by title of all books I have reviewed going back about 25 years. Books by LmV contains a list of the 35 books I have written and published as well as a link to my business website, vancepublications.com. The Contact page is just what you would expect. The Donate page is self-evident, but explains why it is there.