Don’t Have An E-Reader? Get One!

Some people fear and lament an end to real, physical, paper books due to the growth of electronic readers.  I have had conversations with these people.  You probably have too.  Perhaps you are one of them.

I have to admit, there are times when I notice a book in a bookstore that I read on my Kindle and part of me says, “oh, that is how thick it is, its shape…cool.”  Other than that brief nostalgia, I love my Kindle.

Reading books on the Kindle has changed my reading life.  To demonstrate this, allow me to walk you through an average day:

6 AM – Wake up and go to the gym, read War and Peace on the eliptical (Kindle cost, $0; “real” book cost, $10)

9 AM – Put Junia down for a nap.  While holding her, read the Bible (on the Kindle) and John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul (Kindle cost, $.99; “real book, $7.99).

2 PM – Arrive early to get taxes done (okay, this is not an average day).  Spend time reading The Information by James Gleick, checked out on the Kindle via the Reading library.

5 PM – On campus and preparing for this week’s Bible study.  For this I use, among other things,  Kenneth Bailey’s Paul through Mediterranean Eyes (Kindle cost when I got it was $9.12, “real” book is $17.99) and N.T. Wright’s Paul for Everyone (Kindle cost, $8.80; “real” book, 12.99).

10 PM – Before I go to sleep I may read a few pages of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theoligica (Kindle cost, $.99; “real” book, $154.35), some of the first volume of Philip Schaff’s Church History (Kindle Cost for all eight volumes, $5.99; “real” book, used, $87.50) or Tony Jones’ Divine Intervention (snagged on the Kindle while on sale for $.99).

In summary, two reasons you should get an e-reader:

1. Lots of books that are very cheap.  This includes classics, which are experiencing a renaissance in electronic format.

2. You can carry all of those books with me anywhere you go.  I am about to head out with the college students for our Spring Break trip to Joplin, MO.  Rather than packing a bunch of books, I just need one small device.

Right now the only books I am not buying on the Kindle are:

1. Children’s books for Junia

2. Books whose e-books are way too expensive.  I do not want to spend more than $9.99 for an e-book, so when I got Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age I went with the used one for about $18.

3. Books I stumble across at the used bookstore that look interesting.

Other than that, I have trouble justifying spending more money to buy things that take up more space.


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