I love books. Physical books. I love having them around me. I love smelling them. I love looking at them. I love reading them.
And yet, for the last several years, probably 75% of my book purchases have been in a digital format – either Kindle or Logos. So, if I love physical books so much, why do I primarily purchase and read on a digital device? Here are a few reasons:
I Read Faster
I don’t know why, but I do. I’m a fairly fast reader, but I get through a Kindle book faster than I do a physical copy, and with the number of books on my “to read” list, that is important.
Underlining, Highlighting, and Taking Notes Is Easier
I can underline and highlight on a Kindle lighting fast. It took a bit of practice, but I am much better at highlighting material I want to remember on a Kindle than I am using a pen or highlighter in a physical book. Same thing with notes. I find jotting notes in the margins of books to be difficult, hard to read, and cramped. But I am fast at typing my thoughts on a Kindle.
I Can Search For Notes and Highlights
And this right here is the thing that seals the deal for me. The ability to search for a keyword in a note I took or a highlight I made and have those results immediately available to me, along with the exact place in the book where I made them, is what keeps me buying digital books. I use this feature literally every day of my life. It’s untelling how much time I save. Now, I will say this – in physical books I can remember the location in the book where a highlight was made easier – in other words, I can remember where on the page and how far in the book I made the highlight. But that is largely pointless since I can search from any device I own and find it immediately on a Kindle.
Highlights and Evernote
I use Evernote as my digital organization tool and the ability to import my highlights into an Evernote file to create an instant summary of the book is priceless. I can “re-read” a book in just a few moments from anywhere on the planet through this feature. As I read a Kindle book, I intentionally highlight portions that I believe will serve as a good future summary for that section of the book.
Kindle books are almost always less expensive and have way more specials and discounts than physical books.
Reading At Night
I read a lot at night while Andi (my wife) is asleep next to me. I’m not into book lights that clip on the book, and the Kindle allows me to perfectly adjust the brightness to read clearly without disrupting my wife’s sleep.
Here’s the thing – there was a point a few years ago where I had to give myself a little rebuke. It went something like this: “Philip, it doesn’t matter how big your library looks. It matters what you are taking in and what is shaping you.” Anyone who graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has gone through the stage of wanting an impressive looking, massive library. I gave up that desire and went with what I actually like and what actually helps me. To be sure, I still have a lot of physical books, but virtually every commentary I purchase now is through Logos and every book is through Kindle.
What about you?