This week I took the plunge and entered the Kindle universe by purchasing my first Kindle. To be honest I’ve avoided Kindle for a long time and been more than reluctant because I didn’t think I’d use it much. I am a old-school read books on paper kind of a guy. I love to read with a pencil in my hand and mark things up–this is true of even non-academic genres like biography. Even if I can get an article in a PDF, which is easier than ever these days, I always print it off anyway so I can read it with a pencil in hand. The paper margins of a book or copied article are where I take notes, think and engage the author. How does one do that effectively, organically on a Kindle, I often thought to myself. But over the course of the summer I’ve experimented with the free Kindle app on my smart phone and I began to have a vision for it. Without replacing my “old-school” approach reading paper books (at least not yet!), I now see a place for Kindle. There’s how I think I’ll use my Kindle:
1. Reading books that are fun and narrative driven such as biography. I’m currently reading another Bonhoeffer Bio on Kindle, the Schlingenspiesen book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer 1906-1945: Martyr, Thinker, Man of Resistance.
2. Supplement to the printed book. In my desire to test Kindle I have used a Kindle version alongside a printed one. For example I’m reading Hunter’s To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World and I have that in both Kindle version and printed. While this may be considered excessive, I can see the benefit of having multiple platforms for reading. If I find a passage I really like reading the Kindle, I go to the printed book and pencil it up.
3. Traveling. Probably the biggest benefit of a Kindle is for travel. I’m headed to the Czech Republic next week for a couple of weeks of mission work and I’ll pack my Kindle instead of four or five books. This is nice! Now you could just not bring books . . . that’s not an option!
How do you use your Kindle? Any advice? Any interesting things you’ve found you do with Kindle?