The Bible Needs To Be A Book

OK, I admit I’m a Kindle user. When it comes to getting books cheap and in a hurry, you can’t beat it. For books I want to digest quickly, read once, and not lend out to others it is a great tool. It saves room on my bookshelf, and the app for Mac makes it easy for me to copy and paste quotes I want to use in my writing. But…

Some things must be read as a real, honest, cut-down-a-tree-to-make-it book. Anything I use as a reference work, will want to come back to many times, or lend out to others is really better as a book. Another reason is the reading experience. There is nothing at all romantic about a Kindle device or a computer screen. The texture, the smell, and the sound of turning pages are all missing. A book gives me a sense that I am holding something important. A Kindle gives me the feeling I spent a lot of money, and Big Brother is watching me. A book means I own a piece of knowledge and thought. An e-book is only owned by me so long as Amazon chooses to let me have it, and maintains its cloud. A book is reliable because it is a real thing I care for. An e-book is digital information which only appears to be real on a screen. I don’t trust what isn’t real.

If there is one book that must be a book, it’s the Bible. A Bible book can be opened and you get the feeling you are opening something important. You are holding something that has been preserved through thousands of years by thousands of monks and scribes. It has been read and shared by millions (if not billions) of people. E-readers are fine in a pinch, but I want to hear the sound of onion leaf paper turning. I want to see all the subheadings and chapter markers unfolding in front of me like a road map taking me on an important journey. I want to, at a glance, know that the Old Testament is long, and the New Testament is shorter. I want to know that if I open it in the middle I’ll land in Psalms or Proverbs. I want my kids to know how to find things in it, and there is no way to teach that on an e-reader. Call me a romantic, but I want the Bible to be a book, and if the day comes that it isn’t, we will have lost.