The two most important books

If you are to choose two books, only two books, which two should it be?

The question came up yesterday because we had to move out of the vicarage and into a flat while renovation works are going on. So now I have only limited room for my books and I had to make a choice. Which books would I like to put out on the shelves? And which should remain in the cardboard boxes?

And what if I were to choose only two books? Which two should it be? Which two books would you choose?

Here are my choices:

The Bible.
I would choose the Bible because it’s a wonderful story about hope, much MORE than today’s media stories, scientific data, political debate. It reminds me of that which is bigger than we are.

The Bible tells a beautiful and amazing story about God coming to our world, he becomes a human being, he shares our pain and loneliness, he goes through life, death and resurrection to remove our failures and guilt. Forgiveness is the key word.

The great stories of the Bible disconnect us from boring logic and management of life. They open my heart and mind up to something else. To love the world and life and people even though the whole caboodle is complicated, non-homogeneous and full of irreconcilable differences.

The Danish Højskolesangbogen.
I grew up with the Højskolesangbogen, which is a song book containing the very best of Danish poetry from Thomas Kingo to Kim Larsen. Old and contemporary songs. Songs for winter and summer, men and women, for joy, for sorrow, for love, for morning and evening.

I would choose Højskolesangbogen because what is a life without poetry and songs, big words and wonderful tunes you can hum for yourself or sing together at gatherings of all sorts?

Living in London just makes me appreciate the Danish songs even more. Songs, identity and joy are entangled. When we sing-along with other people we are connected in a way that is beyond words and logic and differences.

In conclusion. If I am to choose only two books I won’t choose books on cooking or running, neither Dostoevsky nor my bank book though I know they are important. But the Bible and the Højskolesangbogen.

The great stories and songs are essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. Actually, I think this is what stories and songs do; they can work as a map of sort for our thoughts and emotions, they are beacons and can give you a direction in life.

If you would choose differently, please leave a reply here.