When I was growing up in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Church books were a big thing in our house. We lived in Oklahoma, so there weren’t many other Mormons, and there wasn’t an Internet, so we didn’t have Blogs, Facebook, or Amazon. Books from Deseret and Bookcraft, and inspirational tapes from Covenant, were one of our main sources of connection to the mother ship.
We got Church books in several ways. I supposed some people ordered them through the mail and waited a month to get them, but we never did. The local Seventies usually ran a small bookstore out of somebody’s garage, and we got some books and tapes that way. But mainly, we went to Utah every other year or so and hit the Deseret Bookstore. It’s what we saved up for.
I still have a lot of the books that I bought on those trips. Jack Weyland’s Charley and Sam, which I once considered great literature; Brent and Blaine Yorgason’s From First Date to Chosen Mate, which didn’t actually help me get dates; and Lex DeAzevedo’s Pop Music and Morality, which taught me that most of my favorite bands worshiped Satan backwards. And then there were all those books and tapes by Paul Dunn. These books are part of the soundtrack of my life, and I keep them around to remind me of who I have been.