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Friday, August 28, 2009

Beat Up Your Books!

I got a kindle for my birthday this year. Well, actually it was a combined birthday present for me/father’s day present for my husband. I love books, he loves technology, a match made in heaven. If you don’t know what a kindle is, it is an electronic reading device, in other words, a computerized book. It’s very cool. You download a book from online, and the nifty little machine fits in your hand like a book. You can take it anywhere. It stores up to like 1,000 books in less than the space of one normal-sized novel.

I do adore my kindle. Over fifteen years ago I did a graduate school project on the future of the book. Experts theorized that such a device was coming, and it’s amazing to see that the future is now here. However, I’ve already discovered some problems with my kindle.

First of all, we have a family of five and one $350 kindle. That means only one of us can be reading it at a time. The kindle will save your place in multiple books for multiple readers, but still, unless you’re reading out loud, only one person can actually be reading it at any given time. With regular books, one of us reads it, and then we can pass it around. We can all sit at the pool and read simultaneously, without much fear of the book being ruined by the water, since after all, we can generally replace it for under $10.

I love to pass around books that have blessed me to friends that will be blessed by them as well. Do my books get beat up? Sure they do. Do they get lost? Sometimes. But, the purpose of Christian books is to minister to people, to help them see something they’ve never seen before, and possibly even change their lives. The power of story is immeasurable. I think Jesus illustrates that in his use of parables. Stories go deep. They touch our emotions. They can touch each person in a unique way. When I finish a good book, the first thing I want to do is share it with someone else.

I’ve even started buying my favorite books in bulk and giving them out as gifts. It’s a great way to bless my friends, encourage authors, and stimulate the Christian publishing world at the same time.

Are your books sitting neatly preserved on a shelf? What’s the good in that? Send them out into the world and let then fulfill their destinies!


  1. I am known among my family and friends as The Library, lol. Whenever someone needs a book, they head to my bursting shelves. My living room is lined with them . . . and once again I'm out of room!

    My husband and I were debating Kindles a while ago and cited exactly the problem you're having--you can't SHARE. But that's half the fun of reading a good book! Passing it along and then chatting about it. Then the next person can buy the next book and reciprocate.

  2. Great post, Dina. I have a Sony Reader, and while I'm using it for a few e-books, there's nothing like holding a real book in my hands. :-) I also think sharing is important. You never know whose lives you can touch with a book.

  3. I do really like my kindle for editing. I export my own novels to it and have the kindle read it out loud to me.

    It's also helpful for my son, who we recently discovered has some visual eye teaming problems that affect his reading. He can make the font bigger, which helps, and he can use the text to speech feature, which helps him keep his place.

    Also, Sandi, I heard Cecil Murphy tell a great story about a guy he met in a remote village in Africa. The guys said basically, "I know you. I read your book."

  4. Great post, Dina. I am Soooooooo wanting a Kindle!
    I understand about the sharing thing, but you can still recommend any book you've read to others, and in the end it may help the book business more, as maybe, just maybe, they'll go and get their own copy. Don't get me wrong, I love used book sales, and I delight in matching the right book to the right person and surprising them with it. But I still want a Kindle!
    : )

  5. Linore, you deserve a kindle, and they are a lot of fun. Go for it!