Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Enjoying my kindle

Yes, I've hacked my Kindle and put John Owen (and others) on my screensaver.

Once I found out that the iPad wouldn't be a viable e-reader solution because of the backlit screen, I decided to take a chance on the Kindle.  I've now owned my Kindle DX for almost a month now, and I'm loving it.  Three things have made it well worth the money:

1) Free (or almost free) books - If you love classic Christian books, there are tons available for free.  Some of my best free finds so far:

  • The Bruised Reed - Richard Sibbes
  • The Christian in Complete Armour - William Gurnall
  • The Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne - Andrew Bonar
  • Commentary on Galatians - Martin Luther
  • Communion with God & The Glory of Christ - John Owen
  • Farewell Sermons - Edmund Calamy
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion - John Calvin
  • John G. Paton Autobiography
  • Lectures to my Students - Spurgeon
  • Life & Letters of Henry Martyn - John Sargent
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices - Thomas Brooks
  • The Saints' Everlasting Rest - Richard Baxter
  • The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 Volume; 99 cents on Amazon)
Places to look for free books would be on Amazon, ccel.org, archive.org (ridiculous amount of free stuff, but not all good quality), and books.google.com.  The list above is just the beginning, but I'm pretty sure I've already made up the price of the Kindle with these books, and other works will only become more available as digitizing technology continues to improve.

2) Portable library - The problem with building a library is that I have to be in my study in order to read my books.  If I want to go somewhere else to read, I have to plan ahead and pick a few books to bring along.  With the Kindle, I'm just finding myself reading more, since I'm carrying an entire library with me where I go, and chances are pretty good that there's something in there that I want to read.  I'm curious to see if this will last, but for now, it's provided a big boost to my reading.

3) Clipping - This is the killer function for me on the Kindle.  As a preacher, one of the things I want to do is keep a searchable quotes file from my reading, where I'm recording useful quotes, anecdotes, illustrations, etc... that I can use in the future.  The problem is that once I've read a book, I've not been very disciplined at going back through to type out all the stuff I've marked.  Now with the Kindle, as I'm reading, I can "clip" sections of the book, which will automatically dump the clipped text into my quotes file.  This is so convenient, that it has made me want to re-read some of my old books so I can start clipping useful text, and reluctant to read my actual books since it doubles the work I'll have to do in keeping my quotes file.  This makes my Kindle not only an enjoyable reading experience, but also a productive one!