A Protected Investment

It’s no secret to regular readers of this blog that we favor our digital books over their print counterparts and consider them to be superior when it comes to things like longevity, usability, space savings, cost savings, time savings, and ease of shipping and moving. Many of you are already convinced and choose digital over print as often as possible, but some of you may still be a bit skeptical. A couple of weeks ago, I came across another perfect illustration of how investing in Logos is one of the best ways to protect your investment in a biblical and theological library.

Ryan M. is a Logos user. I met him a while back on the Logos newsgroups. Over the last several years, Ryan has acquired more than 4,000 Libronix digital resources. He chose to build his library primarily with Libronix books partly because he and his wife, Sandi, were planning to do full-time mission work in Quito, Ecuador (and partly, I’m sure, for some of the other reasons I mentioned above).

After a few years of deputation and raising their necessary support, the time had finally come to leave the US and head to the field. As they made their final preparations, Ryan and Sandi gave away most of their earthly possessions and carefully stored up exactly what they would need to take with them. They were set to fly out of Detroit on January 5, 2009 and head to San José, Costa Rica, where they would spent their first year in language school.

The night before they left, the vast majority of their belongings were stolen—everything that they had prepared to take with them, except for their overnight bags and laptop.

Here are some snippets from a email that Ryan sent me last week:

My parents drove us to the airport in Detroit—about 2-1/2 hours from our home in Grand Rapids—to save us having to rent a car (we’d already given ours away). They reserved a nice hotel room for them and us quite near the airport; we stayed the night, and when we awoke the van and all our possessions were gone. (We think the vehicle has probably already been chopped up and that our stuff is being enjoyed by the thieves. Our name, address, and eddress was in every box, so there’s no secret about how to contact us to return any or all of it. But these were obviously evil people.)

. . .

Logos has been wonderful for us in this circumstance! The theft we experienced could have been even more damaging to our finances if I had packed a good number of paper books. I would also be without those ministry helps if I had been relying on paper resources. As it stands, I haven’t lost my theological library, for which I’m extremely grateful. I even have a digital copy of numerous Spanish resources and a Spanish-English dictionary!

Though this is a horrible situation to go through, Ryan doesn’t have to mess with the hassle and massive expense of trying to replace his library. And even if his laptop had been stolen as well, he could have gotten his entire Libronix digital library up and running with very little effort and at almost no cost. His 4000+ resources and all of his licenses are safe. But how easily could you replace your library?

Please pray for Ryan and Sandi as they adjust to a new culture, learn a new language, and try to replace all of the things that they lost. If you would like to be a financial blessing to them, you can donate directly through the HCJB Global website. (To help them in their immediate need, be sure to put “for personal use” in the “Add an Additional Note” blank.) You can read more about how you can pray for and help Ryan and Sandi at their blog.


  1. I have been reading the Logos newsgroup for a number of years. I always appreciated Ryan’s relevant comments. I was very saddened to hear about his loss.
    Overseas shipping is so expensive that Logos has become the most practical library solution for missionaries. I now have 2,400 books in Logos and about 800 paper books. We are not sure what to do with the paper books when we need to move. Having Logos makes the inevitable more palatable.

  2. Thanks phil, again my kind of Blog! A brother steps out to serve the Lord & this happens. I know what the American marines, and in my case the British marines will do if one of their own came under fire. Thanks for forwarding all the contact details & HELP(donation) details.
    On another note, the News group is it only for some selected elite few? When i try to access the News group i get this message “Sorry, you are not allowed to access this area”.Hmmmm

  3. Ted, glad you enjoyed the post. It’ll be great if several Logos users can chip in and lend our brother and sister a helping hand.
    I’m not sure why you go that message when you tried to access the newsgroups. What newsgroup reader are you using?

  4. Brian in San Diego says

    I will slightly disagree with the longevity argument. I cannot pass the books on individually, I am not sure if the entire library can be given/willed to someone. To me this is more of a long term rental.

  5. Brian, thanks for the note. Yes, you can bequeath your entire library to a child or grandchild.

  6. Lap tops are not the most reader friendly medium. Is there any way that some of these resources can be transferred to a digital reader (such as the e-ink reader by Sony) so that I can read commentaries or doctrinal books without squinting at the screen.

  7. Luke,
    Depending on the device, it may be possible to copy portions of text and paste it into a Word Doc, e.g., and then move it to your portable device for reading.
    Reading on a laptop screen can be difficult, especially if you use an external keyboard, which requires you to push the screen further away. I used to get bad headaches after extended reading on my laptop screen, but I solved that problem by getting a 22″ external monitor. I actually enjoy reading on a screen now. The keys are (1) a good size and quality screen (2) with an appropriate zoom (or font size) (3) in a comfortable chair.
    Hope this helps a little.

  8. Great post. I am thankful for people like Ryan, and for companies like Logos.

  9. threegirldad says

    I wasn’t going to comment on this post, but changed my mind. Hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way.
    It’s no secret to regular readers of this blog that we favor our digital books over their print counterparts
    Understandably so.
    and consider them to be superior when it comes to things like longevity, usability, space savings, cost savings, time savings, and ease of shipping and moving.
    Now, before I go further, here’s my attempt to offer all the appropriate disclaimers, caveats, provisos…
    Love my Logos Bible Software. Love it. The digital format and the integration is wonderful for all the reasons you stated above (not to mention the astounding data mining capabilities).
    On the other hand, hate the digital format (and notice carefully that this isn’t a criticism of Logos per se) when it comes to an aspect you didn’t mention: reading. I mean extended reading of whatever kind — next to the fireplace, out on the porch, in a hammock…
    Yes, I know that you can use a laptop with a wireless connection in order to read in those places; I make my living as an IT Enterprise Architect (and gave Zinio a several-months-long try the day it became available). Not enjoyable then, not enjoyable now.
    Again: love my Logos software. It gives me access to a library that I could never own otherwise. I don’t have the space, much less the funds, for a printed version of The 5-foot Shelf. So, of course, I do plenty of digital reading; I just don’t enjoy it much. And. of course, I would certainly rather have a large digital library than a meager printed one.
    The digital format is indeed a marvelous thing for many reasons. But when it comes to reading, I’ll take a well-bound book any day.
    [p.s. Just before submitting, I noticed Phil’s comment about the importance of a large wcreen. I have one. That isn’t the issue for me.]

  10. I love my library–both electronic and paper. For me, nothing beats carrying a book around with me everywhere I go. That being said, one of the happiest days in my recent memory (slight exaggeration) was the day the Works of Jonathan Edwards was released by Logos. Now I can read it without straining my eyes on the minuscule font of my Banner of Truth edition!

  11. Thanks Phil for sorting me out, Re: the Newsgroup. I am up and running, Regards