The title of this editorial is also the name of a new bookstore which will soon be opened in the Hudsonville Shopping Plaza.
What? Has the Standard Bearer taken to promoting commercial projects and advertising the opening of new businesses?
By no means! This is no ordinary bookstore, and it is no commercial project. It is a venture of three societies in our Hudsonville Church, and its purpose is to promote not so much the sale, but the purchase of good Reformed literature, and especially that which is produced by the Reformed Free Publishing Association.
Here is the story.
For some time there has been talk among our people about the possibility of starting some kind of small Christian bookstore in the area of one or more of our churches. But it seemed such a venture could not get off the ground simply because there was no “take-charge” organization or individual(s) to make the first move. Then, when Prof. Hanko returned from his recent trip to the U.K., many of us saw his pictures and heard his account of the several small Christian bookshops which he visited, shops which stocked quality Reformed literature, which included also our R.F.P.A. publications. These bookshops were able to maintain themselves while promoting Reformed literature. Some of Prof. Hanko’s enthusiasm about the whole idea rubbed off on others, and they began to ask, “Why can’t we do something like that?” Out of some informal discussion came some initiative, and under the leadership of Rev. G. van Baren a definite plan to start such a bookshop in Hudsonville began to take form.
One purpose of the proposed store is to promote our own R.F.P.A. literature—books and Standard Bearer—along with other literature published in our churches: books, pamphlets, periodicals, and cassette tapes. Another purpose is to stock and make available quality, dependable Reformed literature, such as commentaries, concordances, doctrinal studies, church history books, biographies of men of God, and some quality children’s books. In other words, the bookstore would serve as a guide and a help to those who ask for dependable, worthwhile Reformed reading and who want to build good home libraries. There are plenty of religious bookstores, of course. But none of these is devoted to what we would call only GOOD religious books. And it so happens that in Hudsonville there is no bookstore where church people might buy books.
With Rev. VanBaren’s initiative and guidance representatives of three Hudsonville societies met to form an organizational board for such a bookstore for a period of one year. The board met and made many decisions connected with the project. A small “neighborhood” bookstore, accessible to many of our Protestant Reformed people, but also very visible to members of the Reformed community in general, was favored. Just at this time a small store in the Hudsonville Plaza became available, too. Financing became available also. Everything was falling into place. The board decided it was the right time and place to start.
A general manager and a couple assistants were appointed, and before long there were more volunteers to help operate the store once it opens. For the time being, all the work will be donated. The manager has already compiled a list of a good representation of Reformed literature to stock, shelving has been purchased, the store is being readied; and before long the store will be a reality—quite possibly soon after you read this report.
The store will be called the Reformed Book Outlet.
They plan to advertise in local papers, to promote a “book of the month,” and to offer books at good bargain prices, in order to encourage people to visit and to recognize the bookstore as a dependable source of good literature. The possibility of expanding to a mail-order business will be considered when once the whole project gets off the ground. Watch for future reports and announcements!
Finally, we want to emphasize that the Reformed Book Outlet is not established to make money. If there are any profits, they will be used to produce and to promote more Reformed literature. The purpose of this venture is to be a witness of the Reformed faith to the community, and especially to witness through our own Protestant Reformed literature.