Previously, I discussed the steps I’m taking towards digital minimalism: getting digital resources to work as a means and not the end (as social media tends to be for so many of us now). One area that escapes the digital culling process is reading. Presently, I will refuse almost all paper books in favour of digital ones. I adore my e-reader. Here are four reasons why:
I buy a lot of books. This year I’m attempting to read 100 books, which, it turns out, isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds (perhaps I’ll write about that one day; for now, see what I’m reading here). However, if they were physical books, storage would be a nightmare, especially since we’re moving back to Canada next year. Now, every book I own accompanies me everywhere. It’s incredible.
Amazon Kindle books are cheaper than physical books. Simple.
With e-readers, you can “highlight” passages of the book as you go. Once I finish a book, I export all the “highlights” from that book and import them into “Evernote”. That means two things:
- I can re-read my highlights at any time and get critical insights from books I’ve read quickly and easily.
- I can search for any word (e.g., “prayer”), and every quote with that word will appear instantly.
Additionally, all highlights are accessible anywhere from both Evernote and Goodreads. It’s life-changing!
Kindles are not iPads. Obvious, right? But in case you’ve never encountered them, e-readers don’t cause the same screen-glare issues that other devices do, because of their “e-ink” technology. It’s super helpful.
I could go on, but for the sake of a two-minute thought, these are the primary reasons why I think e-readers are fantastic. Due to a similar rationale, I’ve also been heavily using a Bible study tool called “Logos”. Look into it if you like.
That said, I’m not ready to give up all paper books completely, yet.
About 75% of my Bible study involves a paper Bible. I love the Bible apps that I have, but there’s something powerful about reading a physical copy of the Word of God. And yes, like many people, I do think there’s something to be said for the way a physical book engages your senses: the smell of the paper; the weight of hundreds of thousands of printed words waiting to be absorbed; the act of turning real pages — all good stuff.
But is it good enough to stop this paperless revolution? In this case, nostalgia doesn’t trump digital efficiency for me. Sorry, purists!