Bags of Bran

I Like Hymnals, But…
May 29, 2015, 10:34 am
Filed under: Bibliophilia, Biography, Destined to get me in trouble

This morning’s barrage of marketing e-mails included a rather interesting plug for a new hymnal, which, in a kind-hearted gesture, they allow you to peruse full-text. It’s supposed to be a student hymnal, with devotional material and an introduction for each song. That’s nice, I thought, as long as the devotional material is not therapeutic self-affirmation at Christ’s expense. In genuine praise, I must say that only about 10% of the songs were written by the editors of the volume (in this case, [EDIT: NOT GETTY/TOWNEND, BUT BARBARA AND DAVID LEEMAN, who are somehow affiliated with] Getty/Townend), which is in my estimation a mark of modesty compared to some other hymnals I’ve seen.

Something isn’t quite right, however: it is a hymnal of only 115 songs, so in a church setting, it could really only function as a supplement; and even in a chapel setting it would probably be barely sufficient. One could hope that its limited scope would be reflected in its price.

I would have swallered my chaw at the price of $40, but alas, I chaw not; and then I saw that the list price was actually $52, at which I nearly went out and bought some chaw to swaller. Fifty-two dollars for one hundred fifteen songs!

I could turn around in this very chair and count a score of hymnals on my combat shelf  for which I paid around a dollar at thrift stores and bookstores. And they have treasure in them, not just favorites. I am not saying that the Gettys et al. should not get paid what they are worth (although I might esteem that differently than the market at large), but who is actually going to buy a $52 songbook for his children?!


2 Comments so far
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You might want to check your information.

It looks like the Gettys only wrote the foreword, and the actual compiling was done by Barbara and David Leeman

It is being sold on Amazon for $38. List prices are often set higher than actual retail.

It also appears it has more to offer than a standard hymnal, with biographical information, full color art, designe elements, and other things. I understand the blanch on pricing, but at the same time, if you recognize that the differences between this book and a more typical hymnal format, you can perhaps understand the price justification.

Also, when you figure this is equal to the price people pay for 3-4 recorded albums, I suppose it’s not that much different. I’m just glad someone is making the effort compared to some of the other, more common influences we typically see.


Comment by Greg Linscott

Hey, Greg! Thanks for stopping by. And welcome.

Sorry about the un-clarity with respect to who was responsible for what. It was not exactly clear in the e-mail (not an excuse, I should have looked closer).

$38 is a killer deal, thanks for the link.


Comment by christopheram

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