Christmas music?

Here at Crux we’ve begun listening to Christmas music. Yesterday we had a lot of Santa-music from the mid-twentieth century. Today we are tuned into a more classical/choral/orchestral station. The 12 Days of Christmas is a perennial play-list choice. So here is the question: What is your favourite seasonal song, the one you don’t mind hearing again and again? Tune in through the month as we interview Crux staff for their favourites and possibly their unfavourites.


C.S. Lewis — Thinking about his Legacy

November 22, 2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis. There have already been Lewis Jubilee celebrations, and more ways to remember his life and legacy are coming in November. To warm up for a Lewis version of November, check out the two-part series that aired on “Ideas” on the CBC in the past couple of weeks. C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, Part One, & Part Two.

Watch this space for more Lewis-related posts in November. If you are in Toronto, save the evening of Thursday, November 14 for an event called Remembering C.S. Lewis at Trinity College.

Textbook Season, part 1

Things staff at Crux like to hear during the textbook rush:

  • “Thanks for all your help.”
  • “I just read one of Crux’s recommended reads and I loved it. Thanks.”
  • “You’ll call me when that comes in? That’s great, thanks!”

Things staff at Crux are not fond of hearing (multiple times) during the textbook rush:

  • “I am going to call every day until my book arrives. Can you make it come any faster?” (No! We can’t control distributors and courier companies!)
  • “But the professor said you’d have that book!” (This is especially irritating when the prof didn’t place a class order for the book in question.)
  • “Don’t you order enough textbooks for everyone in the class?” (Drop/Adds give us all problems.)

Smile at your local bookseller and always remember to say Thank You.

Return Policy

The Crux return policy has been updated. Here it is for your easy reference:

  • 10 days with receipt, in original condition with refund based on original method of payment EXCEPT
  • NO RETURNS on sale/clearance/marked down items, spacial orders, sealed items, and used books;
  • TEXTBOOK RETURNS — 10 days with receipt, in original condition for store credit only, with no returns after September 30, 2013.

Please note: a 10% restocking fee may apply on certain returns.

Myths about Books and Reading

In a recent blog post, Robert Bruce exploded five myths about reading. Bruce proposed that we can learn from fiction, we all have time for reading, reading is an important activity, our opinions about books we read matter, and real reading doesn’t depend upon genre.

The myths about reading reminded me of some myths about books and buying them that we hear in the bookshop regularly. Here are some common book-buying myths:

  1. Buying books is a temptation one should always resist. Most staff at Crux can sympathize with the idea that buying books is a temptation. Books, however, are not inherently bad for you, like junk food. Reading books has been known to feed your soul. Feeding your soul is a good thing, not something to resist. Buying books is, therefore, sometimes a soul-feeding activity that should be embraced.
  2. Books are too expensive. What are you comparing the price of a book to? At an hourly rate, books are excellent entertainment value. Further, books can be invaluable companions over a long period of time. They are soul food (see above). It is true that some books are expensive. Many are worth the price. Reviews and personal recommendations can help you choose which are worth adding to your library.
  3. I don’t have time for reading. What is important? If you think that reading is important, you can make time for it. One regular Crux patron, a busy priest in an urban parish, reads many books by setting aside time at the end of the day. Books refresh and restore her for the next day in ministry.

What prevents you from buying and reading books?

What Does Summer Reading Mean to You?

Recently Crux staff discussed the idea of summer reading. For some people, summer is vacation time, a time to take a break from assigned books and catch up on all the things you really wanted to read when you were studying Greek. For others, summer is the perfect time to dive into a challenging read and learn about Greek verbal aspects. If you have a look at the Crux Staff “Next Five Reads” series you can see some books we hope to read in the next few months in all the sunshine and heat. Some of us are going for the challenging reads, others are hoping for a break from Greek.

What does summer reading mean to you?

New books to be excited about

It is always exciting when new publications land at Crux. Today, three new publications arrived in one box.

Number 1:

prodigal xty

This is a new book on being missional. It seems like there are a lot of books on being missional, but this looks like it has potential to be interesting. How can people pop out of their Christian zone and be relevant to the world?

Number 2:

student's companion

This is a new reference work that introduces the reader to theologians through church history. I’ve just surveyed the table of contents and find six women included among the theologians covered. Not bad. Women appear to be well represented among the contributors also. If you are looking for an introduction to historical theology, this looks like a useful resource.

Number 3, the one I think is most exciting


A new study of the work and thought of C.S. Lewis by Alister McGrath — who also just published a new biography of Lewis. The photo on the cover is great, the chapter titles are enticing, and if this book is not here when you arrive at the store, it might be because I bought it.

Bookmarks as Reminders

Sometimes the bookmarks I find while sorting used books are reminders. They remind me of other times and viewpoints, or of books and authors I’ve not yet read.


This bookmark about The United Way reminds me that the charity organization once used a more overtly Christian religious appeal than it does presently. “Share your blessings,” it reminds us all in red at the bottom. The text reads:

Mark him much blessed who scorns no other,

to whom each stranger is a brother,

for he walks in the steps of Him above

and lives in the warmth of His great love.


And this bookmark featuring the author Maya Angelou reminds me that I’ve never read any of her books. So many books, so little time.

Bookmarks from Bookshops

When sorting the used books that come into Crux, I often find bookmarks advertising bookshops — most of these bookshops are now closed sadly. I want to visit them, but cannot. Here are two I’d like to see.


James Thin of Edinburgh specialized in religion and theology and claimed one of the largest stocks of books in Britain. Oh to be able to browse in this shop! A little digging produces the fact that the flagship bookshop is now Blackwell’s, Edinburgh. Apparently Muriel Sparks wrote her novels on notebooks from Thin’s. Who knew that a bookmark would have so much interesting history behind it?


I can’t find as much information about Diversity Antiques and Collectibles, Inc. of Halifax, N.S., though it appears that Mr. McGee is no longer in business. I’ve never been to Halifax, but I’d like to go — there seem to be a lot of interesting second-hand bookshops in the area. Why else would you want to go to Halifax?

Crux Across the Road: Orthodox Conference on Constantine

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April 13 was the Annual Symposium of Romanian Orthodox Spirituality at Trinity College at the University of Toronto. This was quite an ecumenical event: hosted by an Anglican seminary it included both Catholic and Orthodox speakers on the topic of Constantine.

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The site provided some challenges for space as you can see by the photos; we didn’t have much room for our laptop, printer, and other sales gear. Always up for a challenge we set-up with the space we had and provided a range of Orthodox and Patristic material, from Athanasius to Metropolitan Anthony.

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We appreciate being invited to the event and appreciate all the kind comments received from customers, including some who crossed the street to browse the full selection at our store.

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