One of the things I haven't yet covered in this series is the question of books. What books have stood me in good stead over thirty years of preaching?
The first thing to say, before getting on to the question of appropriate reading, is that all the good preachers I have ever heard had this in common: they read widely. They allowed this enthusiasm to inform their presentations.
So read. Newspapers, magazines, novels, biographies, theology, pastoral works and anything on your specialist subject, whatever that may be, should all be consumed. You will note how people put things, sentence construction, style and, of course, information. Keep some of the best quotes you find, for few of the ones you find for yourself will be in any anthologies of quotations.
But the following books have been in my emergency chest for help when preparing sermons. I won't list commentaries individually. Have lots. Also lots of different versions of the Bible and a Greek New Testament (interlinear, if you don't know Greek).
But here is my recommended starter kit, with the addendum that some of this material can be accessed online or in e-versions:
The NIV Complete Concordance
The Illustrated Bible Dictionary
The Bible From Scratch
The Lion Handbook to the Bible
The Translator's New Testament
And one surprising book that gave me a new impetus when I was feeling dry. I wish I'd read it before I started:
Successful Presentation in a Week: Malcolm Peel