Thursday, March 1, 2012

E-Book Benefits

 I'm a conflicted man: I use a Kindle e-reader (and love it), but I also love physical books and will never totally give them up. As I think through my conflict, I found this interesting list from  Eric Mckiddie of "10 Benefits of Ebooks that Will Surprise You":

1. Less buyer’s remorse. Ebooks can capitalize on our immediate gratification impulse (not that it’s a good impulse, but if you followed it, might as well make the best of it). How many of us have purchased a physical book on impulse from Amazon and waited several days for it to be shipped, only for it to sit on the shelf because the excitement wore off while we waited for it to arrive? Immediate delivery means – hopefully – less unread books that you purchased on a whim.

2. The Evernote connection. It’s easy to import your Kindle highlights into Evernote, making them easily and speedily searchable. This is a huge time saver when it comes to sermon prep. Michael Hyatt shows you how.

3. Shareability. The impact of a book grows exponentially with the shareability of ebooks. With the reader’s ability to tweet a quote from the Kindle app, the author increases the number of people he or she can impact, not to mention sales.

4. Your physical books are searchable…for free. You can read and search many books for free at Google Books. This gives you all the benefits of owning a physical book, and many of the best benefits (e.g., ubiquity and searchability) of digital books.

5. Increased student engagement with God’s word. Last week, when I thought I caught one of my junior highers texting during the sermon, I discovered that she was actually typing a note into her ESV Bible iPhone app. Awesome.

6. Plumbing the depths of our creative capacity. Tapping into our creativity is a way we reflect our Creator. Living on the cutting edge of technology and innovation taps into the image of God in us. It can be an idol, sure, but it also opens new avenues to worship.

7. Author: You. Because of ebooks, anyone can become an author. Write a book that is worth reading, and then make it free to download from a website. You might be surprised how many people read it. Maybe you’ll see one on this blog someday.

8. Developing better reading habits. Since ebooks require a different set of behaviors compared to physical books, a switch to the digital format provides an opportunity to form new – and better – reading habits. Not that it’s easy to form new habits, but sometimes a context change makes it easier.

4. I read ebooks faster than physical books. I think part of this is due to the fact that I skim more in ebooks, whereas with physical books I usually read each individual word (a habit I’ve never been able to break). Since not all books are meant to be read with equal depth, I’m more likely to go the ebook route with books for which I don’t expect to savor each sentence.

10. Goodbye, bookshelf pride factor. Visitors to your office might ooh and ahh over your bookshelves, but your ego gets no such boost from your digital library. If anything, it gets a healthy serving of humble pie, as you scroll through all the books you’ve bought but haven’t read. When it comes to ebooks, you either read ‘em, or you don’t. They’re no good for holding up windows, propping open doors, or impressing coworkers.
 What do you think?