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.