Using my Kindle on my iPad is growing on me, I must confess. I’m reading more and more books that way. But I’m finding that these are mostly books that I read for sheer entertainment value. If I really want to chew on a book then reading it in electronic format is pretty much useless.
Today I am sharing four reasons why I still prefer actual hold-in-my-hand-and- smell-the-pages books over their computerized version. I also will add a note to publishers and blogger review programs.
- Organization. For the life of me I cannot figure out a solid way to organize my books on my electronic device, granted that might be from my own ignorance. But nothing can replace book shelves. I have my hard copy books organized in a personal library: with a section for classics, for biblical theology, for systematic theology, for preaching, and so on. My Kindle has no organization.
- Ownership. I can’t write on my iPad. Yes, I can use some program like OneNote and use a stylus. But it’s not the same. I need to feel actually ink flowing through the pen in my hands onto paper. I need to see myself scribble out thoughts. I need to mark up a book. I need to be able to draw dragons and trolls and smiley faces on a page if I need to. I need arrows and charts and graphs and question marks and to rip a page if it really ticks me off. I need ownership and I don’t feel that on my electronic device. If I really don’t like a book I can’t throw my iPad. That punishes all my apps and all the other books on my Kindle. I can’t physically throw a terrible book in the trash. All I can do is hit delete. That’s not satisfying.
- Others. Yeah, yeah, I know that technically you can share books and let people borrow books with your device. But I’m also a little ignorant of doing that and not everyone in our church has an electronic device. You try getting 80 year old Mildred to read that supper awesome passage from that really riveting book on her new Kindle Fire. Not going to happen. But I can take a book over to my printer and make a copy (with proper attribution of course). And I can let her borrow my book.
- Oogling. I have a terrible habit of forgetting about things that I cannot readily see. My office is surrounded by books. If I see a book I haven’t read it mocks me and taunts me. It begs me to crack open its pages. And it does that to other people that enter my office. They spot a good book and want to read it. I’ve yet to have anyone borrow my iPad and scroll through my Kindle books. And even if they did I wouldn’t be smart enough to let them borrow the book. I want to see my books so that I remember them. If not they are lost in an unorganized pile of books that I don’t even feel like I own.
A Note to Blogger Review Programs
First, let me say that it is super kind for anyone to give me a free book. Getting free books is not a right, it is a privilege. But it’s also a responsibility and an agreement. You give me a free book and I do the very best that I can to give an honest and thoughtful review and hopefully help the publisher sell at least one copy so you don’t lose money on me.
Enter the eBook.
Many blogger review programs are going the way of giving bloggers a free .pdf or other type of eBook for the sake of review. And I understand them doing this–it saves them a ton of money and it takes the gamble out of giving away a hard copy. I understand that financially speaking it probably makes more sense not to send me a hard copy.
But I also know that I (and I might very well be alone on this) will not and cannot review a book as well if I only have it in electronic format. If you want your book to be thrown in a pile with other books of which I take no ownership of and always run the risk of forgetting about, then by all means send me an electronic copy. But if you want me to really own that book, engage that book, suggest it to others, and keep it visible, then take the gamble and send me a hard copy.
What about you, dear reader? Which do you prefer?