Which will it be?

The time is coming and, like the Borg, it’s inevitable.

Last night we were with a group from NPU at David and Linda Parkyn’s home celebrating Christmas. Not only were we in the presence of friends and good music, but Linda pushed to think about a topic one more time. She asked what we would be reading over Christmas, Kris mentioned we’d be heading to warmer climes and told Linda what she’d be reading (see the post under this one) and then said, “Scot takes a small suitcase full of books.”

Linda said, “Not me. Get a Kindle.”

Let’s hear your perspectives on this new reading devices. Anyone switch from one to the other? Who has used both? What did you learn? Which do you recommend?

You can buy a Kindle now for a mere $139. Here’s the link (Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6), and it has links to the more expensive versions.

Admission time #1: One of the books I want to take with me this Break is about Nietzsche but it must weigh two pounds and the weight of the thing makes me think of not taking it.

Issue #1: I’m still into the paper and binding mode, and I wonder about “owning” $10 bytes of electronic charge and seeing that as “my book.”

Admission #2: I’m still holding out for the iPad that has FaceTime because I want to see if that iPad lives up to its billing. Let’s say we get that iPad … then what: Will I be reading books on the iPad? I do know that whether we get a Kindle or an iPad, magazines and newspapers will be electronic charges.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://jasonsmith.wordpress.com jason smith

    I got a Kindle recently for my birthday. It is amazing. the ink technology is remarkable and the no glare screen lives up to its billing. It is so realistic, I found myself reaching up to turn the page the other day.

    And, the highlighting and note taking features are awesome. It takes my notes and highlights and syncs them to a website on amazon, where I can go and see them later. Pretty nice for research and/or sermon prep.

    And, I can put the thing in my coat pocket. Literally.

    Jason

  • http://www.gruntleblog.blogspot.com Angus

    I just bought an iPod touch, the wait for the Kindle here in South Africa was tooooo long (but a very reasonable price). I’m loving reading on my iPod touch; I’ve got my ‘Logos’ Bible software on it too – the apps are amazing.

    The iPad is too big; you can do so much on a little iPod that an iPad seems superfluous if you already have a laptop.

    I’ll probably buy a Kindle soon though.

    I love owning books as electronic charges; being an itinerant minister means we do a lot of relocating; I’m tired of sticking my books in old melon boxes and breaking my back getting them up and down stairs.

    Another feature I enjoy: If someone recommends a book, you can usually download the first few pages – read them; see if you want to read further and then buy the book when you want to read it.

    I’m a convert.

    (PS – I love my aeropress too)

  • Barb

    my admissions
    #1–got a kindle for my 60th in October. Have read at least 7 books already–mostly fiction, but also read Evolving in Monkey Town. I love it for taking with me whenever I need a book (like to airport, or riding the ferry). I also LOVE it for reading in bed–nice little light in the cover AND I can make the print bigger and not wear my glasses. was very useful when we had a 28 hour power outage.
    #2 I still buy books–I buy mostly non-fiction. books i want to mark up. Books i want to talk about with people.
    #3 we are building a new house and I’ve described it as “library with house attached” –making an intentional space in the lower level for all my books, my desk, work table–etc. Guess I won’t stop buying books anytime soon.

  • EricW

    My wife got the Kindle and loves it – couldn’t justify the extra $50 for the 3G version, though she spent more than that on the m-Edge case and reading light. I can read her books on my iPhone (as can she on hers). I assume that’s because she’s registered with my (now our) Amazon.com account. I don’t know if you need to buy a Kindle to use the iPhone Kindle app and buy/read Kindle books on your phone. Anyway, I, too, may start Kindling some books and read them on my iPhone, like I do my Logos books. (Love Logos 4!!!)

  • Anna

    The Kindle is much easier on your eyes than a monitor screen. I absolutely love mine.

  • http://jeffkclarke.com Jeff

    I purchased the Kindle 3G about a month ago and love it. There will always be a few books (i.e. academic) that I will more than likely purchase the paperback version of, but I am thoroughly enjoying the Kindle so far.

    Here is a short review I wrote a few weeks ago, if you’re interested — http://jeffkclarke.com/2010/11/17/review-amazon-kindle-3g/

    Happy reading…

  • http://www.johnhaselton.blogspot.com John Haselton

    I don’t have a kindle, but I do have the free kindle download for pc. (they have one for Mac too) Reading on my laptop has proven to be very good especially for light reading. (I’m a seminary student so when do I have time for that?) For weighter subjects ie Nietzsche I end up taking notes on paper anyway so what’s the point. Merry Christmas

  • http://www.wiki-church.com Nathan Swenson-Reinhold

    I bought my Kindle two months ago and have read several books on it already. It’s easy, easy to read…and I find I read faster on it than I do in typical books. The great thing about having a Kindle is that all of your books are held on a Kindle account that can be accessed by a myriad of devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and a desktop app for your PC or Mac. In addition, your book files can be saved/stored on a local hard disk.

    Someday I will want an iPad…but it has to become something more than my iPhone with a big screen. In the meantime, the Kindle is where it’s at. My two cents…

  • Jason Lee

    I don’t like single-purpose devices (e.g., kindles) … it feels like planned obsolescence on the part of producers. We just need a tablet that does it all. …till then I’m holding out.

  • http://www.listeningpostministries.com Jim

    I have the Kindle and love it. However, Scott, one thing you might want to check on. If you download books and want to use them in an article (e.g. a quote) the version I use does not provide page numbers. Haven’t found a way around that if I want to lift a quote and reference the page.

    On the other side, I do love being able to highlight text and then go back and down load the highlighted texts. Very handy.

    New versions may have solved the page problem. I don’t know.

  • Brandy

    the iPad is great. Not only can you get all the books you can get on kindle on it since you can get the kindle app for the ipad, but you can also access iBooks and the barnes and noble and borders book readers.

    Plus, you can just do more on an iPad.

  • Deets

    If you want a reading device, get the Kindle. It’s easier on the eyes, and much better for reading on the beach. If you want a mini-computer to check your web stuff, tweet and check Facebook, the iPad does more stuff. I got my Kindle last year for a Christmas and have used it quite a bit. It’s a 3G since that’s all they had back then, but I think WiFi would be just as good. It isn’t too often that I decide to buy a book while sitting in the park and can’t wait until I get back to a hot spot to download the book.

  • Mark

    I’ve had both and to me, there is no comparison. The iPad is significantly better in my opinion.

    The ink technology on the kindle drove me crazy, it was slow in changing pages.

    The iPad is a multipurpose tool while the kindle is a single use device. I haven’t taken my laptop on a trip since getting the ipad & I don’t have to take it out for the TSA when going through security.

    The iPad is color and I read a lot of books that use color graphs and images. I read the USA Today on my iPad everyday…don’t even try it on the Kindle.

    The Kindle is restricted to Amazon, while iPad can use the Amazon books, as well as, other formats too.

    I could go on & on…I can write this on my ipad, I would/could never do this on my kindle.

    Mark

  • http://www.elementalcm.com Henry Zonio

    It just seems like a waste of money and resources to get a single-use device. Go for the iPad or if you are waiting for the iPad with a camera then upgrade your iPod to the iPod touch or get an iPhone and use the Kindle app

  • Barb

    and another thing–
    I think Kindle versions of books should be cheaper.

  • Kenton

    I own a Nook. Same display technology as the Kindle. I love it for the same reason others have said they love the Kindle – Very easy on the eyes. Because the iPad has the raster display, I have to believe it fatigues the eyes similar to a computer monitor. For that reason alone, I would go Kindle before iPad.

    For a long time I had regretted buying the Nook over the Kindle, but since the launch of Google Books, I’m starting to feel better about the Nook. The book selection had been worse for the Nook, but since Nook works with Google Books and Kindle doesn’t, I’m not sure I’m going to have Kindle-envy anymore. Something to consider.

  • http://www.walkingwiththeword.com Matt

    I am a proud “book person”. I love a physical book. I love the smell and texture of the paper. I love going back to books I’ve read before and finding old ticket stubs and receipts that I used as bookmarks. My books are as old friends.

    However I also own a Kindle and I love it.

    My belief is that there are certain books that are worth owning and rereading. Some books are for reference. Others are guilty pleasures or one time reads. These are the ones that find their way onto my Kindle.

    There is a place in my life for both.

  • http://www.walkingwiththeword.com Matt

    The more I think about this, the more points I want to make…

    I played with the iPad quite a bit before I bought my Kindle. It is a vastly superior device for reading magazine and newspaper articles, surfing the web or watching videos. It is supremely inferior if you plan on reading for long stretches of time. The glossy, backlit screen does not offer any improvement over a traditional computer screen.

    This is where the Kindle excells. The screen on the Kindle is simultaneously soft and crisp, with virtually no glare. I can actually read my Kindle for longer stretches than a traditional book because I can increase the font size.

    The other reason I bought a Kindle is my traditional library was becoming a source of pride. The cases of books were beginning to become trophies that, in some sick way, showed that I was more learned than other people. In some ways, the Kindle is a little like praying in a closet.

  • nemo

    I own a Kindle and my daughter owns an iPad, so I am familiar with both.

    I absolutely love my Kindle for light reading. The ability to visit the Kindle store and down load a book in seconds – truly astonishing and wonderful fun. So I always have something to read. As others have mentioned, the e-ink is remarkable. It is a pleasure to hold and read on a Kindle.

    Having said that, it is not good for academic books because the footnotes are hidden. You have to go through a very awkward exercise just to see a footnote. And like another commenter noted, it would be awkward to cite a Kindle book.

    I don’t really like reading my Bible on it either, though I think that is more of an aesthetic concern.

    Conclusion? If you want to read novels and other light stuff, you will enjoy the Kindle a lot. If you want to read academic books, then you will likely be diappointed.

  • http://azspot.net Naum

    I prefer iPad because:

    (1) bigger screen size — my feeble eyes appreciate the greater pixel real estate — and bigger screen size makes things like reading PDF (programming manuals, essays, etc.…) doable whereas on Kindle not really viable

    (2) color

    (3) touch screen — when I look at Kindle I always attempt to interface by touching, love annotating and highlighting with touch iPad screen

    (4) page refresh / page turning on iPad is near as fast as paper, Kindle seems only suitable for “serial” reading page to next page and forget about randomly loading pages (not that it is undoable, just dreadfully slow for my suiting)

    (5) ability to easily pop into web browser (or other apps) to look something up, or even just to click on footnote links in the text

    Kindle advantages, iPad drawbacks:

    (1) iPad not good in the sunlight — take the Kindle to the beach

    (2) eInk easier on the eyes but I encounter no problem with iPad as I do a lot of reading in the bedroom after lights are turned out and consider the ability to go light-less a pleasant feature.

  • James

    I’ve got an iPhone 4 adn use the iBook, Kindle, and now the Google Books apps. It’s the diversity of availability that will probably having me go iPad over Kindle. The other things it does lure me, too. I’m nerdy enough to really love the iCal app on the iPad because it reminds me of my Day Timer days.

    The iPhone Kindle app was my first foray into digital readers. I bought a book for our men’s study, and have enjoyed the portability and that it allows highlighting and notes and syncs to my laptop.

  • http://mrshields.com adam Shields

    Have both a kindle and an ipad. I love them both, but I hate reading on ipad. Kindle is great for reading. It is single purpose so all you can do well is read, which is what you do with a book.

    Ipad is a consumption device. Great for rss, twitter, basic browsing, netflix, email and basic computer work. I bring it with me when traveling as a second screen with my snall netbook. What I don’t like about reading on ipad is that it is too easy to leave the reading process and do something else.

    If you have not used a kindle , especially the new version, you should. It is very different than a lcd screen.

  • Andrew tash

    I want to affirm the comparisons of people who have used both devices in 13 and 20. I’ve had both in my palms and greatly appreciate the eink of kindle, but love, love, love my iPad even without the optical display and front facing camera. It’s compact, versatile and easy to load up books, movies, and music for trips in town and out.

  • http://jimkane.wordpress.com Jim Kane

    My church gave me an iPad and while I have been overwhelmed by nit at times, I look forward to seeing what it is capable of in the years ahead. Two church members have a kindle and a nook and they like them very much.

  • Phillip

    I have an iPad I got through school. I like that it is multi-use. There is great app called Free Books, which is a huge collection of public domain books. So I am catching up om some clasics. I still want paper books for work, and I also like to have something I physically own (not just electrons). Of course, if the battery goes in transit, you are out of luck, and you cannot read during takeoff and landing with the electronic readers.

  • Clay Knick

    My Kindle was a gift from the family. I use it for novels and biographies and the like. Anything else is still in print form.

  • http://Www.hbclakeland.com Bill Boulet

    Scot,
    I have a nook and (similar to Kindle but I think better) an iPad, and both are great and I am glad I have both. I love the nook because you read with no back light and it is wonderful on the eyes. The iPad is great for social networking and online it is far superior. Get both!

  • Mary

    Scott,
    I have a Nook. I find it makes me read more. With the nook I can download from my public library for free, plus get free Google books. I took my Nook on Vacation this fall, it weighed much less than the books I packed in the past and I could carry more books.
    And if I run out of new books, as long as I have wifi I can download either a library ebook or a free Google book or as a treat a new bestseller for less than the price of a hardcover book usually.

  • http://krusekronicle.com Michael W. Kruse

    Overwhelming majority of my reading is non-fiction and for learning, which means being able to reference a page when it applies to something I’m working on. If no page numbers, then no Kindle for me. I do some pleasure reading of books electronically on my laptop and iPhone using the Kindle app. I’m waiting a bit longer to see how the market shakes out.

  • Daryl

    The Kindle is fantastic, but is best for things that you aren’t interested in looking for footnotes (i.e. novels, N.T. Wright’s popular stuff, Yancey, classics, that kind of stuff). The iPad might be better at working with footnotes (anything that’s a little quicker and can do popups should be able to do footnotes excellently), but I’m not sure, since I’ve only looked at them and haven’t played much with them.

  • Daryl

    Oh, and if you’re going to get an iPad, then you probably don’t want a Kindle as well, because then you’re just carrying all kinds of gadgets with you, and that starts to defeat the purpose…

  • Terry

    I appreciate my Kindle, which I have been using for 18 months. Most every book I can buy and use on it, I have, as my primary reason for moving to an electronic device is a lack of physical space. I guess I actually have a lot of space, I just have more books. The Kindle is really helping with that. However, I still buy paper books when they are a) not on Kindle, b) of the reference variety, and c) if they’re a real ‘keeper’ for me personally. The first Kindle book I bought was Blue Parakeet, but, small indulgence on my part, I already had two hardbound copies on my shelf.

    The lack of page numbers is a frustration to me, as is the endnote issue which has been mentioned. I mark-up most books as I read them (if I like them) and though the Kindle marking situation is good, especially for later searching, I actually prefer the book and pen in hand approach. Interestingly, I read enough that I find some books read on Kindle I actually don’t remember reading all that well — I think it’s because too many books now have the same cover. :)

    I actually hope to own an iPad at some point as half my reading is Internet based (and 1/2 of that is Jesus Creed) and I don’t personally find the Kindle useful for that at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.seefeldt steph seefeldt

    i wish i could afford either.

    [insert debbie downer noise here.]

    :p

  • Gary Davi

    I think E-Readers are the end of civilization. Most of you will take that as a joke, trust me…I don’t mean it as a joke.

  • Anna

    oh, another point for the Kindle (or Nook) versus iPad, if you travel frequently or are perhaps the tiniest bit forgetful (not any of us, of course, I’m just thinking hypothetically here).

    I would regret it if my Kindle got lost or stolen, but could sigh and replace it fairly quickly (Amazon backs up your library online). The expense and multi-purpose function of the iPad would mean it would be much more of a pain to replace/reconstruct if it disappeared.

    I prefer traveling with the Kindle for the same reason I prefer traveling with inexpensive jewelry — if something bad happens, I’m not heartbroken (or budget-busted) having to replace it.

  • MatthewS

    FWIW, I have the Kindle and Nook apps on both my laptop and on my iPod touch. Both of those apps are free and you can buy books in the respective formats and then download them to all the places you are running the apps. You can highlight and take notes and the changes are uploaded to their servers so that your stuff shows up on your other devices.

    The screen on my iPod touch is small for it but surprisingly effective. Also, I can pick up reading on the laptop where I left off on the iPod. I have a growing collecting of books that I am carrying around with me and I love it. The convenience is great.

    In addition, I have an audio version of Crime and Punishment that I’m working through, so I will be listening to that on my iPod as well.

  • Robert

    Either an iPad or a PC based tablet.

    Honestly the second is better than the first. The Kindle is static technology. You can’t migrate across platforms and it is has no substantive interface. I’m (obviously) not a fan.

    The benefit of a tablet is the multitasking environment that allows you to download the Kindle app (which is better than iBooks or whatever its called) for the iPad. You can highly and take notes and you can get a TON of books for free or low cost.

    Just the other day I downloaded the entire Summa Theologica for $.95! Holy cow. Also you can download and access stuff from JSTOR, CCEL, EBSCO, etc and keep it around. I’m a huge fan of a PC tablet…because I have one and use it every day.

    It does cost a touch more…;)

  • Darren King

    I’ve never been a fan of reading on a computer screen. The length of posts on Jesus Creed are about as much as my eyes can take in one sitting. Sometimes my eyes can’t take the even longer comments that follow! ;)

    But this thread, and other factors, has convinced me the Kindle is a different kind of reading experience. So my wife has now ordered me one for Christmas. I look forward to embracing this new era in reading. :)