Books

2011 GREENBEAN BLOG REVIEW #3: PREACHING WITH A KINDLE

Of the five top hits I am re-posting, this one is the only one that feels ‘dated.’   I wrote this before the Kindle Fire came out.  The Fire, as I understand it, is more like an iPad than the older Kindle readers.  As an update, during Advent I used my iPhone ESV app for preaching.  I may blog on that later, but it was a different kind of experience altogether. 

I am a bibliophile, and I like being that way.

For me a book is a beautiful thing in and of itself.  Harper Lee once wrote that it was a sin to kill a mockingbird, for me it is a sin to throw a book away.  Books should be kept and treasured.  When their bindings begin to come undone, use a little tape to firm it up and treat it with extra care.

A bookshelf lined with various volumes is my favorite piece of furniture.

My favorite book is the Bible.

This is why I was surprised when I used the Amazon Kindle and liked it.  I’ve read a couple of full books on the Kindle, and my daughters have read several.  A friend from church gave it to us a while back, and I’ve slowly warmed to it.  So much so that the last two weeks I have used it while preaching in place of my fully awesome lambskin black ESV single column Bible.  I wondered if there would be a difference in the experience by using the digital reader instead of a paper and ink.  There was.

  • For starters, the Kindle is so much lighter than a Bible that it is easier to handle.  Because of the lightweight nature of it I find I do not worry about dropping it or bending pages and all the other things that run through the mind while handling a big book.
  • Two Sundays ago I used it to read a large section of Scripture from John 6 and loved the way the Kindle’s “next page” function helped me read smoother.  There was no page turning—no noise in the microphone, no licking thumbs, no pause while the page settles.  The next page of text just popped up instantly.
  • I also liked how the Kindle font was bigger than the font on a printed page.  I could see it better.

There are however, some limitations to using the Kindle Bible in a preaching setting.  The most glaring one is that to change from one part of the Bible to the next, the user has to go back to the menu and then use that tiny little button to navigate through the books.  Heaven help the person who needs to get to Malachi or Amos.  That button is the second negative.  If I’m just preaching from a single text, then the Kindle is fine but my fat, stubby, arthritic fingers have a very hard time using that stick out joystick button “thingy.”

I think I am going to try and use the Kindle from now through Easter to keep experimenting with it.  The net effect has been positive, and I bet my Kindle can do things I don’t know it can do and I am anxious to learn those.  I’ve noticed many people at church come with their Kindle, and I hope by my using it we can encourage people that the Word of God is not about the format it is in, but whether or not we read and study it.  If the Kindle helps with that, then I want to affirm it.

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