I’m a sell-out. I have finally made the switch to preferring electronic books over print books (most of the time). Here are my reasons.
- Ease of access- I very vividly remember trying to read Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem in bed. If you aren’t familiar, it is a 1,296 page hardcover book. There is no possible way to lay down comfortably and read that tome. Your arms will begin to hate you, and if you (heaven forbid) doze off, the sword of Damocles will drop and end your life. I have a few large books that take me longer to read simply because they aren’t portable, I can’t take them to the barber or the mechanic without looking like I have something to prove. That is not a problem with the Kindle, which is small enough to fit in my back pocket. Besides that, when I try to take advantage of a 10 minute break to read a book, by the time I find the book and get a highlighter, my time to read is almost up. Plus, everything in the preceding paragraph is doubly true if you have a toddler.
- Cost- This is more of an issue with newer books. Usually used books, especially from Thriftbooks.com can undercut the Kindle editions. However, if you want to get something newer, the Kindle copy is almost always a few dollars cheaper than the paper copy. On top of that, many sites will offer free books, especially in a PDF format. For instance, Desiring God is super generous in their books section, offering an incredible amount of free PDF’s that you can read on the Kindle.
- Retention- This is far and away the biggest one for me. Kindle has an incredible option that allows you to save and compile your highlights. If I want to talk to someone about a book, I just need to look through all my highlights and I will have a rough idea of the big takeaways of the book. The best part is that you can go to Amazon, look up your profile, and copy all your highlights to a notetaking app like Google Keep, so you will always have them on hand. Plus, Google Keep is searchable, so you can reference all your books.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a paper book. I do think you lose out on a lot with a Kindle. People are less likely to ask you what you are reading, I like the feel of a paperback, a paper book is easier to lend, and I’m suspicious of big companies like Amazon. But despite all of that, my primary go-to is the Kindle.