. Do We Have to Choose Between Print and Digital?

Do We Have to Choose Between Print and Digital?

The Logos Pros are here to help the church. And one of the things the church is processing right now, along with much of the rest of the world, is the role digital tools will play in their reading.

D.G. writes:

I seek out many of the volumes mentioned on Logos newsletters for print editions since I literally hate reading on either my computer or iPad. I have personally purchased over 25 volumes in the last three months—none of which are digital. Am I alone in this or is it a trend to which computer focused businesses should reconsider?

I wrote back:


Interestingly, Faithlife (which produces Logos Bible Software) is now putting out print books through their Lexham and Kirkdale Press imprints. So it’s not as if we’re constitutionally opposed to ink and paper (even if we sometimes sound like we are!).

Print vs. digital arguments are too often zero-sum. I take a both-and approach. I’m always asking, “Which of these technologies—‘analog’ codex or digital text—will best help me accomplish what I want to accomplish with this book?”

With some books, like Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections or Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, I’m aiming to accomplish something great in my reading. I want to read and assimilate and remember the content. I’ve been reading books long enough that I have some idea when a difficult book is going to reward this kind of attention. For such books I personally have found that I cannot achieve that accomplishment well in digital format. (And, for what it’s worth, I couldn’t process the audio version of Edwards’ work, either.) I need that technology we call the “codex.” I need to mark up each text with highlights and numbers and notes in order to follow it. I also need to do a lot of page-flipping to make sure I know where I am in the argument.

Different formats for different types of books

Fiction books, however, I can read very easily in digital formats. Reference books, too—like biblical commentaries, dictionaries of all sorts, journals, lexicons, grammars—are much better “consumed” on a computer screen than in a big fat codex. Logos Bible Software finds the right place for me so quickly, and it allows me to mark up and copy the text (with attribution, a feature I use constantly) so readily. I’m only reading a little bit at a time, so on-screen reading is very doable, even if the content is intricate. I’ll never go back to paper for reference works if I can avoid it.

But then there are books in the middle, books that I might possibly prefer to read in codex form if I were on a leisurely vacation but instead read digitally simply because I know I’m more likely to finish them that way. If I have to remember to bring my print copy of Jamie Smith’s How (Not) To Be Secular with me on the bus or to the doctor’s office waiting room (great read, by the way), I’ll never finish the book. The main thing I want to accomplish with these books is to get through them and gather some highlights for future reference. Digital formats are better for my busy life, because digital devices are always with me.

An important aside: I’m also a firm believer—along with one of my favorite writers, Alan Jacobs—in reading by whim. I wanna read what I wanna read. And though I’m willing and eager to shape my wannas with good advice from others, I know that whim (my personal interest at the moment) is a key ingredient in the motivation necessary to read well. I have many times fallen away from a challenging read after a few chapters, only to come back two or three years later when I was impelled by a circumstance or desire I didn’t have before. One of my current favorite books in the whole world, John Frame’s Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, was recommended to me by a respected friend, and I think I read the first chapter four times over three years. Eventually my needs and brains aligned with its content and I got through. For this and other reasons, I’m always chipping away at multiple books, and my digital devices let me change my whims, never losing my place when the whims of change blow.

All devices are not equal

And that raises my final point in this little excursus on digital vs. print reading: not all digital reading devices are created equal. For books that I read from start to finish (from Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock to Christ and Culture Revisited), I do not prefer the computer screen or iPad. I don’t read for long periods on a device I can’t recline on the couch with. I have never, in fact, read an entire book on a laptop or desktop screen. I have read books on the iPad, and that can be nice. But what I really like is e-ink. I export Logos books and articles to my Kindle regularly. E-ink is built for reading. No pop-up ads or messages. It looks like paper, even (and especially) in direct sun. It’s light, so I can read with one hand. But it’s like the old adage for photographers: the best camera is the one you have with you. I find that the best reading technology (codex, Kindle, tablet, phone, even audiobook) is the one I have with me when I get a chance to read. Most frequently nowadays, that’s my trusty iPhone. Thankfully, my Logos app is there in an honored place on my home screen, like a faithful and highly trained dog, just waiting to do my literary bidding.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. (So said Groucho Marx.)


49617We’ve put a good book by Bruce Riley Ashford, Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians, on a special sale—both the print version and the digital are 30% off. Click the cover to buy.

Written by
Mark Ward

Christian, husband, father, writer, ultimate frisbee player when possible.

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  • I would say I agree with Mark’s bottom line. I enjoy hard copies. But when I’m preparing for a sermon, researching for a presentation or paper, or just plain looking up stuff, I like the ease that Logos provides. It’s especially nice when I own the book in both hard copy and electronic form, and can move easily from one to the other for copy and paste and footnote purposes. Logos probably saved me weeks, if not months of dissertation writing, and for that, me and my family say ‘thank you’!

    • It’s funny that your read of my bottom line is that I like hard copies; hopefully that shows I was appropriately objective in the post! I say that because my actual practice over the last five years has been to buy almost all digital.

      And one of the reasons is what you mention: I, too, was saved weeks or months by having Logos for my dissertation, and it kept me at home instead of forcing unnecessary trips to the library.

  • My elementary teacher once said "reading is the key to knowledge." The operative word is….reading! The format is not the issue. No matter what format you use, if a book (or e-book) is not read, then you are not accomplishing much! Retrievability is a powerful add-on to the digital format. But if you do not read…well you know the rest… Merry Christmas!

    • That’s the way I feel, too, but I can’t shake the idea proposed by media ecologists such as Neil Postman, Marshall McLuhan, and Nicholas Carr that the medium itself carries a message. I wonder this in particular with regard to my Bible reading. I use digital Bibles all day, but when it comes to my personal devotional time I pull out a (beautiful, leather-bound) codex. I’m hoping that sustained attention to the same edition will provide the mnemonic device others have found in their Bibles, namely the ability to remember where something was on the page.

      I don’t know if that will happen or not, because I can’t seem to stick with one Bible edition for long, for various reasons including spilled grape juice last year… =) I also like to read different translations and typographical settings.

  • I don’t mind reading digital print. It becomes real convenient when I have multiple volumes to read. I can load them all onto my iPad and conveniently access them at anytime from almost anywhere. But when I need to study something, to really digest it, comprehend it and understand it, then I need to have print media. I am one of those who learn through my hands, meaning I must either write it or highlight it to digest it. I use Logos primarily for reference study. When I encounter things I really want to engrave upon my heart and brain, I just copy it into a document which I can then print or just save for future reference.

  • I really cannot find anything I disagree with in Mark’s article. I too, find that some books are not written to be read on a computer screen. Plus, the ability to search through a reference book or commentary outweighs the extra cost over a paper book. But I have become more and more digital, mainly because I don’t have any more room for books.

  • I absolutely love logos. I have used it since the early years. But now in my middle 60s, I wish I could understand how younger people process information which is digitally received. For me to ingest information, I must go back to pen and paper.

    • Somehow the great homileticians of the past, and quite a few of the present, managed to preach penetrating sermons on Ephesians, Proverbs, Genesis, or what have you without any recourse to digital books. Postman warns that technologies will play themselves out. Their benefits will occur, but so will their detriments. We have yet to see what both will be, though we readers know more now than we did ten years ago.

  • I finished my masters in theology recently and heavily relied on digital copies when I could get them. Some of my research was in hard copy and I used lots of little post it notes to mark interesting thoughts in the books, but going back and using the material in digital books was MUCH easier. It was especially easy to find something I had read and wanted to read again in the digital books.

    The only reason I have digital and hard copies of a book is so that I can loan out the hard copy. I don’t use it for myself anymore…

    • Playing devil’s advocate for precisely one moment, I have sometimes wondered if the ease with which I can find citations in electronic resources keeps me from the benefit I would gain by having to do more reading to find those citations. Am I missing not just interesting rabbit trails but important context? Am I cherry-picking via electronic search? So I think it behooves Bible students, and especially ministers of the Word, to be good enough readers that we are unlikely to use citations out of context.

      For example, I have little confidence in my use of quotations from the fathers, with perhaps the exception of Augustine (sometimes, anyway). I’ve done enough reading about and in Augustine that I think I know where he’s coming from. But sometimes the powerful searches my Logos library can do for me bring me into an obscure discussion in an obscure (to me, anyway) historical settings. I’ve got to be careful not to assume I know what’s going on.

      • You see what I mean….reading… is the KEY to knowledge the medium is secondary! At least for some it is.

        For example, when I eat a cake with frosting, my decision is mostly arrived at by the type of cake (most of the time), say, chocolate, white, or marbled. The frosting is an added bonus. The bulk of my enjoyment is the quality of the cake. Same with books or e-books. It is the quality of the “read” that counts! Merry Christmas.

  • I personally prefer digital format. I have worked with computers since the first desktop came out and have reached the point where with Logos I have actually replaced many hardcopy books with digital. I can mark up the books, add notes, search them, etc. I have a big laptop and it has room for my entire library. Where ever I go my entire library goes with me. The more I use Logos the more I like Logos. I only wish that I had moved from my previous package to Logos sooner.

    • It’s great to work for a company where the users do our advertising for us. =) I work here in part because I had a similar experience. I sold a bunch of my commentaries, especially.

  • Faithlife apps on android e-ink readers is the future. All my highlights sync across. It is so easy on the eyes. I can read in the sun or at night in bed and know that when I go to prepare my sermons I'll have it right there on the computer. Follow the link if you want to see more support from Logos for e-Ink screens – go here http://is.gd/GsdmZs

  • Faithlife apps on android e-ink readers is the future. All my highlights sync across. It is so easy on the eyes. I can read in the sun or at night in bed and know that when I go to prepare my sermons I’ll have it right there on the computer. Follow the link if you want to see more support from Logos for e-Ink screens – go here http://is.gd/GsdmZs

  • For me, reading digitally helps when needing the information for review and the first assimilation of the data. Once I have tasked myself with the study of the information I prefer print, but I am getting more and more involved with the software that allows me to open reference material on the screen for review without impacting the main window and the major body of the text I’m reading. I’m 54 this month and I believe I will never go away from print but do like some of the new trends in digital media

  • There are definite pros and cons to digital. The pros: I can enlarge the print. I can mark it up, taking notes or clippings or both. I can link with other resourses much, much easier. I can have "search" look for topics so I don't have to read whole books, just the particular areas of interest at the moment.
    The BIG con: I can't curl up with the book in bed. Not even a Kindle is the same as waking up to find the book is on your face!

    • I actually have to disagree with that particular con. I prefer my e-readers, because I can read with one hand. I can actually read with no hands except when I want to turn the page, because I have a little case that doubles as a stand.

  • There are definite pros and cons to digital. The pros: I can enlarge the print. I can mark it up, taking notes or clippings or both. I can link with other resourses much, much easier. I can have "search" look for topics so I don't have to read whole books, just the particular areas of interest at the moment.
    The BIG con: I can't curl up with the book in bed. Not even a Kindle is the same as waking up to find the book is on your face!

  • In common speech in Ireland we use a metaphor from horse racing, “horses for courses,” to indicate that something is a matter of personal preference. In horse racing some horses perform better on soft ground and some on firm ground, hence the use of the metaphor for issues of personal preference. Like Mark I don’t believe that digital is better or worse than paper. In fact, what makes digital better in some contexts is not the digital nature of the book per se but the quality of the software programme in which the digital work is located. For instance, I have some books on kindle but I can’t do with them what I can do with Logos and their only advantage to me over paper copies is portability.

    As a tool Logos is a hugely powerful tool that will save countless hours of time for anyone preparing sermons, research papers, lectures, bible/theological studies, or writing papers, books, articles, dissertations, etc. I would also venture to say that it also contributes to higher quality and accuracy of one’s work by virtue of the various tools available within the software. But make no mistake all of these benefits are the result of the quality of the Logos software itself and are not automatic with digital publication. The power potential of digital publication is released through programmes like Logos and it is this power and potential that makes digital publications my choice for preparation of sermons, lectures and classes.

    But I love paper books too and there are few things i enjoy as much as sitting down in a comfortable chair with a physical book. The smell and feel of the paper copy give an enjoyment beyond the books utilitarian value. So I will always buy paper books as well. While I prefer digital copies for my reference works I won’t always buy a digital copy. If the digital copy comes as part of a collection the price of acquiring the digital copy is sometimes too high as I have to purchase other works I either don’t want or need – but that’s getting away from the digital versus print issue to the marketing plan of Logos.

    I use desktop, laptop, iPad and Android phone with Logos and situations and often circumstances determine what device I’m using or whether I’m using paper or digital. I read a lot in cafes over coffee. In that context nothing beats my iPad or Android phone. Trying to get a paper book to stay open while handling food and drink at the same time can be problematic. As a bi-vocational person I get an astonishing amount of my preparation done on my iPad on breaks in my schedule. Passage and exegetical guides and other tools work well. Cutting and pasting into documents and PowerPoints do too. But then we’re moving away from just print versus digital again to the tool releasing the power potential of the digital versions. I have never read a whole book on a desktop or laptop. On these machines I’m working not just reading. I have read whole books on iPad and Android, and I don’t have Mark’s difficulty lying on a couch with an iPad. Works well for me – but then it’s “horses for courses.”

    I think digital is here to stay simply because the technologies available enable so much more to be with it in a fraction of the time and without the clutter and space requirements of comparable work using paper. But reading is not just a utilitarian function and because of that there will always be a place for paper [codices] as well. As I mentioned, the smell, feel, looks, capacity to flip through pages and other elements that contribute to the pleasure of reading will ensure that for some of us at least there will always be an emotional attachment to paper books.

    • Our crack team of olfactory technicians is working on an add-on that will provide various book smells right from within the Logos mobile app. You can make various combinations, such as 1) musty 2) rag 3) paper 4) from 1704 5) that has been in the library of a cigar aficionado.

      No, seriously, I love to hear that about using Logos to help you be a bivocational—well, “person,” you say. But you mean “pastor,” right? I have found the same to be the case. Though efficiency is not the main thing I’m looking for in Bible study and sermon preparation, it is a factor.

      • Hi Mark!
        Nice one! What kind of device would I need to buy to get the smells?? LOL.

        Actually, I’m no longer a pastor and I’m not sure bi-vocational is the right way to describe me any more either. But it is the best way to capture the two dimensions of my work that were previously separate. 2 years ago bi-vocational would have been a good description. I work in community development and specifically in a peace-building project between mainstream Irish people and Travellers who are the most marginalised and rejected group in Irish society. My employer is a secular agency with charitable status, but I initiated this project through the local churches and it has transformed into a faith based project. My employment has since been “virtually transferred” out of the agency to a faith based project management committee.

        My work teaching and ministering to the local charismatic group, (which is one of the few places both communities truly form one body, and which before the transformation of the project to its current faith base was my other “vocation”), has now become welded to the community development / peace-building project. Bi-vocational is still a convenient way to talk about the separate areas of community development with the whole community, (which includes many of no faith), and what we traditionally call Christian ministry, (preaching, teaching, Bible study, etc), that’s done with the charismatic group. That’s probably as clear as mud for you. But with secular funders looking for particular outcomes most of my work day time is on the community development aspect of the project. In that context my iPad and Android phone with Logos on board are employed during lunch and coffee breaks to prepare the next Bible study, teaching, etc.

  • I've been saying for years, including on the Logos forums, that those who give up their print libraries for digital are acting foolishly. I still believe that to be true.

    Have both, or if you can only have one, have paper and ink. But most people can do both, I think.

    • You speak as my best friend always has. And it’s true that longevity and even inheritances need to figure into this discussion. I hope I and my descendants don’t regret my choice to go digital.

      But I lean back on one major thing: what do I want to accomplish by my ownership—in whatever format—of this book? Mainly I want to read and reference my books, and digital formats tend to make that happen. Paper formats often don’t. Yes, I may be guilty of short-sightededness, but the fact is that I am actually getting reading done that I don’t think I would otherwise. I’m getting more helpful input from commentators, finding more reliable information because I can search so many sources at once, and making it to the end of more books—all because I use digital formats. I also use my notes from books in my writing. Now that Logos, like Amazon, can collect all my highlights in a resource-specific notes document, I can easily cull from my reading the quotes that are most useful for me for sermons, blog posts, and books that I write. My latest book is chock full of stuff like that.

      Here’s a screenshot of my notes from a book I’ve just been reading in Logos:

      Abelard and Heloise

  • I’m with Ed Diaz and Chris Nyland on this one – I live in a house that’s stuffed with books so going more digital would seem to make more sense, but at the same time I too am puzzled at how young people manage digital things so easily and so quickly. I try to apply logic and reason to my use of Logos software but frequently end up with a screen that looks just like a blizzard of words and references.
    After 60-odd years of reading print it’s hard to break the habit. And I love books, the feel of them, and I love bookshops and libraries. Even now, when I enter a library, I get the sort of thrill that a football fan must get when he goes through the turnstile to watch a big match.
    Really enjoyed this piece, Mark – many thanks.

    • Barry, I cannot complain about your perspective in the least. I sometimes wish I had that thrill. I worry that digital reading has turned me into a sluice through which information passes rather than a reservoir into which it collects. I do feel that digital reading has sped up the pace of my life. And sometimes I feel stuck in that pace, like I can’t get off the treadmill. But I’ve sort of seen it as a calling to figure out how to make the best of our new digital situation. As others are reporting, there are a lot of “goods” to be thankful for.

      I can offer help with the blizzard: for a start, have you seen the Logos Pro page? It’s got a bunch of short training videos that you may find helpful.

      • Mark, Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to reply. I’ve been very interested in the many responses you’ve had.
        About reading – what I’ve done for years is follow a scheme whereby I read the whole of the OT in a year, and the NT twice in a year. This is the very basic amount of reading. On top of that, I choose a theme – this year, I chose crucifixion – and I have been astonished at where the crucifixion is referred to obliquely, and how often. I can’t miss my daily reading in case I miss a valuable contribution to my understanding of a theme. I always have more than one theme going. Additionally, I have Bible Classes to give – this week, I looked at how the gospel is revealed in Joel. Am also constructing my own chart on the taking away into exile.
        I retired three weeks ago, after years of working as a mental health nurse, and I can remember my final piece of work before I qualified was on the issue of how mental illness was perceived in the first century in Palestine and its environs.
        I really enjoy your posts and your blog! Am also looking at your thoughts on whether or not Jesus spoke in Greek. I think he did, weighing up all the evidence for and against.
        I’m reading ‘Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes’ by Richards and O’Brien at the moment – an interesting read if you ever get enough free time.
        Best wishes – Barry

        • So sorry, Mark, I didn’t reply to what you actually said. I think that paper and digital are modes, and we choose the one we’re best with. I can understand how you feel that the digital pace has sped up your studying and rate of thinking, and how this can become a sort of treadmill – difficult – but it does have its good side, and I think God provides in this way. It is an age ‘thing’ – I’m 65 and have spent about half my life in libraries, and have thousands of books in my house – I think you’re about 35 (a few years younger than my son) and digital study comes to you (and to my son) much more easily than it does to me. I dislike the ‘silver surfer’ stereotype but still get impatient with my failures at mastering all the Logos software that I have.
          HOWEVER – you have directed me to Logos Pro so I shall go to it!
          Thanks again – best wishes
          Barry (UK)

  • I read both…digital and print. I enjoy sending devotional books to my Kindle and reading them from there. I must confess that I take notes of my reading with paper and pen . It helps me remember what I have read to write it out. I have learned over time to transfer from print to digital in my serious study. I have both print and digital libraries. To follow a text through Logos commentaries, dictionaries, etc. broadens my scope of study and makes the whole concept of study a joy. However I must say that there someting about holding a book and turning pages that I find hard to give up and I probably won't.

  • “Do We Have to Choose Between Print and Digital?” Choice, of course, is always necessary but does not have to be exclusive or categorical. In fairness, however, our choices are often predicated on past experiences or ingrained habits. We are most often more comfortable with that which is familiar. Many of us are in between the print and digital age and it is prudent to assess why we are where we are in terms of our choices. New does not of itself imply good or bad. I think this is fairly universally applicable. I agree with Mark’s statement that the best format is the one available to us when we have the chance to read. There are pros and cons to the different reading formats depending on what we are seeking to accomplish but I do think that the ‘hardcopy’ will eventually become a thing of the past. Hopefully my learning, in whatever format, is not limited to mere personal enrichment but the benefit of others. With this in mind I think it is wise to choose whatever means best aids us in accomplishing that task.

  • I enjoyed this article. For years I have said that I prefer my reference works in Logos format and devotional works in print. However, as the author mentioned, having devotional books in digital format tends to allow me to read more because when I have a few minutes I can pick up my Ipad and read where I left off.

  • This is not an either or question. While I love the ease of research within LOGOS, I also know that LOGOS does not have the full range resources that I need for my research. In my case the split is about 50-50. Half the time I am able to get the data I need from LOGOS, the rest of the time, I obtain the resource by either purchasing the resource (because it is not in LOGOS) or obtaining it via Inter-library Loan. I doubt that LOGOS will ever have all the resources I desire, nor will I be able to afford all of the more specialized resources I use. These will still be needed and only available through hard copy. Bottom line here is that the utility of both will remain for quite some time.

  • I read both…digital and print. i do not have the space now for all the books i have now. so if i find what i have in print i go digital.

  • There are certain books and reference materials that I will always want a hard copy of. However, my physical library has expanded far beyond the space I have available at both in my home and ministry office. Digital books are a good choice for general reading and book readers that utilize digital ink are much kinder to aging eyes. I also love the ability to increase the font size on my book reader. If a book proves to be exceptional, then I purchase a hard copy was well and seek to make space for it in my non-digital world.

  • I spent 36 years in the UM ministry, 27 of that was in the US Army. Out of that mind set I contended with a thing called "pro book", the tools of my trade. 40 to 50 book boxes can be intimidating especially when trying to find a home for them other than the boxes they are in. When I retired I tried to confine myself to ONE book case, needless to say I gave away, donated my library. I now have the usual e-book readers and do MOST of my studying on my iPad using about 3 apps.

  • In this respect I guess I am very ultra modern. Books are nice…. it is nice to see and feel and smell the books, pull them off and read them, get them signed…. if you are a romantic. But for all practical purposes, digital is the way. I have physical books on my shelve, from before Logos, and I am not going to replace them right now with digital copies (have you seen the USD vs ZAR lately, it’s sick!), but I would if I could.

    You reference easier in a digital book,, you can search, mark, make long notes that reference back, copy and paste for quotations etc. and imagine having a Bible study or something, or sitting in a class if you’re a student and you can take your whole library with you, in your pocket!

  • I find that I can’t afford many print versions and I almost never read from my desktop or laptop but I read a lot from my iPad. I study from my desktop and that’s where Logos 6 shines for me. But I’m 37 and I am one of the “older” people in our church and yet we are really split almost down the middle as to preference of print vs. digital. I like that I can pick up digital quick and usually at a good price. But I also find that since I don’t “look at those books” (like they are staring at me on a shelf) A lot of times I buy a book and don’t read it because it’s “lost” in my digital library somewhere with the hundreds of other books I have. So I enjoy print but prefer digital

  • I'm always on the go so I'd say, Digital. It's accessible in several devices which means you can read it, literally anywhere without having to carry a physical book. But, every now and then you get a really good book that is worth it to have in print.

  • I couldn't agree more. I feel with digital that I don't have the whole reading experience and to me it is an experience. Reading is a sensory experience that you can't get from digital. I love and use Logos but it can replace ink and paper.

  • I've read many books in electronic format, most via Kindle, some via Logos. When I am studying a book of the bible to teach a class, I do frequently print from Logos and mark it up. I still think fastest with a pen in hand, though also mark up Logos and Kindle books all the time. I'll transfer ink notes to electronic on occasion.

    What remains the challenge for me is connecting ideas. While silimar highlights can be a way of drawing things together, I would love the ability to circle words and connect them, either because they are the same of connected. This provides a visual clue to related arguments, continuations of thought, correlations, etc.

    A primary motivator for me for reading electronically is to reduce the space it takes to have and keep paper books. Cost also is usually less.

    All this to say, tools in electronic formats that mimic the physical are very attractive to me.


  • I was always a book guy until I bought my 12" Samsung Tablet last year. Now i use it to read from Logos. The larger tablet size makes all the difference it is like reading from an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper.

  • I love Logos and the power it brings to searching and helping prepare messages. While I have a fairly robust collection in Logos – I still buy a lot of print and duplicate digital resources. There is something about working out of a book that is easier and feels more intutive than digital. Reading from my computer/laptop/ or Kindle just does not feel the same – especially as it relates to note taking and writing within the book. Digital is slower and doesnt allow me to mark a book and diagram points, thoughts and ideas in the same way. I have started to learn which books are of more use to me in digital and which books are more useful in print.

  • I wonder if the ancients had this discussion as stone tablets gave way to papyrus. I wonder if there were advocates of scrolls as bound books of flat paper were coming into vogue. My as-yet-unconceived grandchildren will likely be reading primarily digital media even as their parents—currently teenagers—curl up on the couch with a good, old (literally) book. I ask and expect my kids to carry a bound Bible to church, but encourage them to have a Bible app on their smartphones, as well.

    Like Mark Ward, I go both/and. In spite of the dozen or more boxes needed to move my books, I prefer the look, feel, and endurance of paper and ink. I love the fingertip accessibility of my digital libraries but hate the perpetual threat of their obsolescence. And let there be no doubt: the threat is real. Someday I will choose not to invest in yet another upgrade from Logos, and Faithlife will no longer support whatever version I last bought. Someday I will make a mistake and delete an ebook and not want to endure the labor of recovering it through increasingly impersonal "customer service" channels. Someday I will want to pass on a book to a child or a friend but won't be able to because it exists only in cyberspace.

    I long for the day when I can pay one price and get the same book in three formats: print, digital, and audio. Lord, come quickly!

  • A pastor that I worked with for 12 years used to, and in fact still does, tell people that I have the best library of books in the SouthEast US :-) I have a fairly large room that is lined on the walls from ceiling to floor with bookshelves – that are filled two (and occasionally) three deep – because I ran out of “normal” space over a decade ago. I have that many books, several times over, in my combined Logos and Kindle libraries. I love books, books are my friends, and they are the tools I utilize in being who I am, and doing what I am called to do. I now only purchase print books if a digital version isn’t available. If it is available in Logos I get it there and then send it to my Kindle for reading. If Logos doesn’t offer it, I buy Vryso (it appears in my Logos account AND gets sent, if need be, to my Kindle. And if absolutely necessary, I buy books in native Kindle format. I started preaching and teaching from a Palm Pilot many years ago. Eventually went to a laptop with split screen output capability using Logos as my Bible and the 2nd output for the congregation. I now do the same thing with my Android phone. I agree with a previous post, that reading is here to stay – the opportunities may evolve, but the good news is that the new ways aren’t exclusive – I can mix-and-match as I see fit and as my needs necessitate. Long live my friend, the book!

  • I love having reference books in digital format. Being able to search and find things throughout my library quickly during sermon prep or any other purpose is invaluable. When reading fiction books and other books that I simply read through, I can go with digital or print. Digital is a little handier in that I don’t have to remember to bring the print book with me. However, when it comes to reading a non-fiction book that I read from cover to cover, I usually want to mark it all up. I haven’t tried all digital reading methods but so far I have not encountered one that works well for quickly marking things and is handy for future reference of those markings and notes. If that could be solved, I think I would be comfortable with all digital. And I’m in the over 50 crowd.

  • I love Bible software! I have Logos and OliveTree on all my devices. I find the Logos home page distracting, so I use OliveTree for my daily reading and Logos for Bible teaching and sermon prep. I also love e-books and have the Kindle app on all my devices as well. I prefer e-books to hardcopy books for two reasons: 1) They are SEARCHABLE, and 2) You can carry a whole LIBRARY around with you. Just try that with paper books!

  • I go both ways. I normally try to buy Digital first for a couple of reasons. One they are normally cheaper and two sometimes I'm not sure how well I will like a particular book. If I really like a book a lot then I usually go ahead and but a physical book. I buy far more digital books than I buy physical.

  • Comments on print verses digital by a nerd.

    I began working with computers in 1972. As an engineer I am trained to use computer tools for accuracy and speed.

    I completed a Theology degree in college before Logos was required. Learning to use print lexicons and conducting word studies with print references helped me to retain the detailed knowledge in a way that a manual print month long word study does. Every day I would review information I had absorbed in tedious research.

    Going to seminary at night and working full time while managing a small ministry and a family gave me a great appreciation for speed and accuracy of Logos. Logos helped when I needed to prepare studies quickly and accurately for seminary or to preach.

    While studying a doctorate of Education , I learned about my personal learning style. I am a visual learner and visual mathematician. I need print versions of reading material to highlight, to write notes on and to make my own. The computer screen just does not do it for me in my private studies.

  • I love books. I love the way they feel and smell. I like marking them up and how they look covering a vaste expanse of wall like a piece of art. I enjoy lending books to friends. I like having access in spite of a power outage. I don't like lugging them around. Digital allows me to carry thousands of books on my cell phone, laptop and tablet. So I will be in the market for both. Logos is perfect because it connects my books together. I'm not a pastor but I do lead a couple of men's groups which is why I became a Logos custom and will remain one until the day I die.

  • Decidedly on the fence.

    I love the tactile feel of the page. I love to mark pages with pencil check marks and comments.

    But, I’ve run out of physical space for physical books.

    I opt for ebooks when available. They are accessible on multiple devices, searchable, weightless.

    Off topic a bit, but another question is what happens to your digital legacy when you pass? Previously, heirs would pick through them, choose some keepsakes, and sell the bulk to a book dealer. With ebooks, the process of inheritance raises some questions. Can the “ownership” be further distributed?

  • For me, digital media is preferable to print in every context. In any one year I may purchase 2-3 print books (purely because they are not available digitally) but will acquire many more in digital format.

    I use Logos software on a desktop for serious work and study, mainly use an iPad for reading (though sometimes will read on my desktop) and an iPhone for “quick access” on the go. I enjoy the reading experience on the iPad / iPhone but also have a Kindle for resources that are not available in Logos format.

    I have “sent” a few resources from Logos to Kindle but, in general, read Logos resources on Logos apps so that I can highlight / comment within a single environment.

    I often have 5-7 books on the go at a time and being able to manage / access them electronically is of real value to me.

    I use an iPad to preach from as well.

    I prefer the digital reading experience over reading on a book – which I guess is one of the reasons I focus almost exclusively on digital resources and applications.

  • I was trained to use Logos heavily in seminary and I do like the convenience. The datasets and cross-referencing are great for reference titles and original language research, as you note. Logos is great for exegesis.

    However, for ministry reading, devotional reading, and theological research (as opposed to exegesis) I have since gravitated back to print, primarily due to costs. Logos charges a premium for their resources and I can generally get the print edition of any Logos title for a deep discount on Amazon. With print, I don’t need to worry about technological obsolescence or future format shifts, either.

    Many years ago, I bought the Expositor’s Bible Commentary in Zondervan’s old Pradis format. Even though I still own the physical media today, I can no longer read these “books” I bought because the Pradis engine is no longer supported and will not run on my current operating system. For reasons like this, I prefer the universal ePub format when it comes to e-books over proprietary DRM-laden formats like Logos. It also helps that ePub (or Kindle) titles are usually much cheaper than the same titles in Logos format.

    Consider Baker’s “Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.” It costs $59.99 in Logos format, but it’s available right now in print for $34.79, or ePub for $34.49.

  • One more tidbit. I'm 57 and use my Kindle app on my iPad the most. I use my iPad constantly. I teach the majority of my Sunday School lessons from it. The only book that I prefer to read physically is my Bible. I do have Bible's on my iPad but I don't use them all that much. It's also much easier carring my iPad every where than a bunch of books. Plus I can read any one of several books that I'm currently reading.

  • I love real touchable, smellable, markable, hold in your hand books. I have a large library and rejoice that I have had the time in my life to read them all as well as the space to store them. On the other had, I do use digital editions, especially if I am researching something. It's easier to click on a link to see a separate reference. That puts me into the both/and category. We are very fortunate to be able to choose. I hope that never changes.

  • Digital and Print are needed. Print is needed for a short period of time while collecting thoughts and refering them to non digital users. There are more non digital users in the theology field than digital users. Digital is needed to research, comparing and compling thoughts.

  • I have been using an e-reader for about 10 years now. But I still buy the ‘real thing’ and the reason I choose one over the other is primarily related to how often I expect to ever return to the book – or if I want to make comments back to the author in the margin – or if I intend to reference the book in something I write (ebook references are still not acceptable.)

  • Who is the anonymous "I" in whose name the email linking to this post was sent?

    (E.g., "I loved John Frame’s The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. I read it with attention and care, and I marked it up with tons of highlights and notes. It was a life-changing, perspective-altering, faith-strengthening book. . . . ")

  • With regards to the article’s premise; my view is “Whatever Floats Your Boat.” The expression having most certainly revealed my generation, I believe there are more important issues to be considered in the digital v print debate, ie – responsibility.

    Horse & buggy days gave way to the automobile era. The world continually evolves. This indicates growth, which is a good thing if care is taken to maintain reverence for righteousness, things sacred & truth.

    Moses warned concerning the evils of convenience & Paul encouraged us to, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” [unless we forget the Lord]

    Studies show a difference in retention of material between the use of digital or print media with print being the more sustainable. This cautions us to consider carefully.

    Then “…test the spirits, whether they are of God,” 1st JOHN 4:1-3

    Our purpose being to eliminate any doubt concerning our ambassadorship for Christ in representing Him before others. “…Test yourselves.” 1st CORINTHIANS 13:5

  • I am 72, and I love Bible software. I have Logos AND OliveTree on all my devices. (I find the Logos home page distracting, so I use OliveTree for Bible reading and Logos for in-depth Bible study and lesson & sermon prep.) I also love other kinds of reading, and for that I have Kindle on all my devices. I have two reasons for loving e-books over print books: 1) E-books are SEARCHABLE and 2) I can carry a whole LIBRARY of e-books and bibles with me wherever I go. Just try that with paper books! BTW, I have an extensive hardcopy library, but these days I only buy hard copies when they are all that is available.

  • One more thing, I use an android smart phone with a Logos app, computers, kindles, Nook, and a Library composed of more than 500 reference books. However I have access to over 6000 books in Logos. The internet does not provide much in the way of research material when I am looking for the theological truth. When I travel, electronic is best. On the plane and in the airport paper does not need to be recharged.

    In my easy chair, print is best.

  • I am a big advocate of the screen books. here are a few reasons:

    – My brain is a bit scattered, and I feel more orgnaized with my ipad
    – I often sit down to read not intending to highlight or take notes, and then often a pencil or highlighter are not available. They are always available with my ipad.
    – Many books do not stay open unless I'm holding them. Ergo, I can't eat and read at the same time, sometimes can't even hold a drink and read.
    – I don't have room for any more books
    – I always have all my books on me
    – the organization of highlights is very helpful, particularly on the Kindle app
    – It is easier to stay awake reading when I have a screen
    – I don't need good light to read a screen
    – I use the split screen function to read commentary and Bible side by side while on the treadmill… could never have a Bible and a commentary up on there!

    I think I might be able to add a few more, but that is all I can think of for now. So I'm pretty sold on the ipad…

  • Print is great. Digital is great. I like both. But how many of you will be able to pass on to your grandchildren or great grandchildren your digital library in 50 or more years. My print library, much of which is 50 years old, can continue to benefit future generations. Who knows what technology will be in existence in 50 – 75 years. I would doubt that our electronic files of 2015 will be compatible with electronic gear in 2065. But one thing is for certain, whether print or digital, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8 NASB

  • I like books as I can highlight them as I see fit and set up a system to keep certain subjects together, which I find difficult with a digital system. I like to go back and compare two or three books on the same subject to gain a better viewpoint that allows me bring in todays culture.

  • When I was just a boy my parents purchased an encyclopedia. Those of us in our senior years remember these voluminous reference texts. Other than possibly the public library rarely will you find a set in any home these days because of the ability to easily access the world through the digital portal. As with any social advancements it takes time to reach viability and ultimately, fruition. At this juncture in my life I enjoy the portability of the digital but I find myself still purchasing hard cover books.

    Find your comfortable spot sit back and thank God you can read. It is a blessing that so many take for granted. God has given us His words and yet relatively few break the spine on their Bibles.

  • I’ve found that books that are meant to be read from front to back, in that order, I am able to read well enough on the iPad or my Android phone. Especially fiction. Too many books, though, I enjoy browsing sections of, and for those I’d rather have a physical copy. If I have to actually study a book to really understand it, I’d much rather have a physical copy. I think my main problem with digital books is that I’m too easily distracted by the other things available on my device…

  • I have slowly but surely been converting as much of my print library to Logos. (Some might call me crazy, and that's fine with me.) If I have the choice between a print book or a Logos book, I choose Logos nearly every time. I have Logos books with me at all times; with Logos books I don't have to lug my books back and forth from office to home; I don't have to worry about spilling coffee on Logos books, dropping them, or wearing out the bindings (this happes frequently on print refrence books; my print ISBE is one testimony among many to that); when going on vacation, I don't have to choose which Logos books to bring with me and which to leave behind; I can bring all of them;w with the Logos layouts, I can have multiple Logos books open at the same time (I can even open the same Logos book multiple times so that I can simultaneously reference different sections of that same book) without having a mess of books all over my desk, which allows me to stop studying at the Church Office and then pick up where I left off at home without skipping a beat, or lugging bags full of books back and forth.

    All of that to say, there is something special and unique about a print book. I can feel the size of the book; I can skim through the chapter titles and section headings to quickly grasp what the book is about; and a book sitting on my desk is a constant reminder to me to read it; there's also the look of a print library that Logos can't compete with; however, that often tends to have to do with pride and status, which we shouldn't be concerned with. Plus, print books require expensive space and book shelves. Logos does not. Print books can burn in a fire, swell from water damage, and be borrowed (and never returned) or lost–not true with Logos books.

    You definitely don't have to give up print books for Logos books or vice versa. I'm currently reading the print edition of "Embracing Shared Ministry" by Joseph Hellerman, but only because it is not available on Logos.

    I would love to get a Kindle Paperwhite, as I feel this would largely reduce the benefits of print books that I don't get with Logos.

    Go with Logos; you won't regret it!;

  • I have coverted a large majority of my library from print to Logos. I do not regret it one bit. I find I use my entire library more often now. If I had to do it all over again, I would, but sooner.

  • There are multiple volumes I own in both print and digital and I'm glad I have both copies. I once took a class on Herman Bavinck where I read all of volume II of the Reformed Dogmatics and a large selection of Frame's Doctrine of God. I'm glad I had both of those books in print because I read large sections of them in one sitting. I would not have enjoyed reading 50+ pages of Bavinck in one sitting on my Mac. When I'm going to read a book cover to cover and dive in deep then I want a print copy. That being said I'm so glad I have Bavinck on logos because I have access to the book 95% of the time- unless I'm away from my computer. I also really wish I had a logos copy of Frame's book, after reading it I often want to refrence it, but hardly have access to it as it sits at home. Additionally, I'm reading through the Inistitues right now. I did a reading plan on logos and I read it on my Mac. I don't mind reading that on my mac because it's just a few pages a day and I don't have to lug Calvin's hefty volumes around. In short, I'm glad I have instant access to a large number of books in my logos library, and if the book is good enough for me to read it all the way through then I want a print copy and a logos copy because I'm going to want to refrence it.

  • I do feel that I would pick both because some of us are tend to have headaches from computers all day so I like to have hard or paperback books too as well if we need too seek out more look up computer seek out this is me as the ministry and a college student.

  • I do feel that I would pick both because some of us are tend to have headaches from computers all day so I like to have hard or paperback books too as well if we need too seek out more look up computer seek out this is me as the ministry and a college student.

  • I do feel that I would pick both because some of us are tend to have headaches from computers all day so I like to have hard or paperback books too as well if we need too seek out more look up computer seek out this is me as the ministry and a college student.

  • I prefer digital. I don’t know when it happened but my love for books switched to digital. I gave away or sold over 10,000 books in my home library. Our home was big just told the many bookshelves. I feel free but still have access to all the books I need via Logos, Kindle and online.

    I also Bible Journal Digitally. Faster, easier and I can print as many as I want.

    I much prefer reading on my tablet now. I guess it just takes time to get used to new things.

  • I am 68 years old with a library of thousands of books. I read almost everything on my Kindle Voyager e Reader. I very much prefer the Kindle over the hard books. I am able to make notes and underline and best of all search all my books for those notes and underlines. I find it very much more convenient. I travel to primitive places and am able to take hundreds of books with me when i do. the Kindle battery lasts for many weeks so no need to plug in. But i take a couple of portable batteries in case i need them – i never have needed them. Plus i can affort many more books and the Kindle books don't ever need to be dusted. The pages don't tare and the books are always like new. Plus i can share on media right from my book if there is a quote or passage i want others to read. I have not used any paper or paper books for years and would never want to go back to that. I have given away hundreds of my books and now have more space. No longer is my house stacked with books everywhere. Another plus it is easier on the eyes to read the Kindle e book and i can make the print any size i may need so no need for reading glasses. I can read in direct sunlight or in the dark. I can lend my books to others and they always come back to me. I could go on but i can't think of any downside. "What if all digital books are erased someone asked me?" I suppose something like that is possible. But it is also possible some Government could decide to burn all books that disagree with them but that never stopped me from purchasing books. And the dangers of digital failure doesn't stop me from purchasing and reading more books than i ever bought or read when it was all paper. And in case one isn't aware i am able to download any notes i make on my Word Processor (sermons) to my Kindle. I also use my iPad to preach from and have been doing that around the world for years – Russia – Africa – and other places. And i don't say any of this just because my son is one of the developers of the kindle!!!! Yes i am a logos user and therefore use the program on my Computor and iPad and Phone to study etc.

  • 1. Exporting to Kindle? How?
    2. Logos is great for cross referencing and reading while travelling; all on the tablet pc.
    3. Unfortunately, while I was growing up my father's collection of books were a source of fascination for me. With ebooks, my children miss out on that dynamic. Out of sight, out of mind. I've kept my hardcopy books for this reason (but hardly ever use them).
    4. Obviously, Logos is difficult to use when there is no power. But this is rare these days.
    5. Some display technologies are easier on the eyes.
    6. Modern tablets are getting light enough to hold in your hand for a practical period of time.

  • I like both. For the last several years, I've used my iPhone to read through the Bible every 90 days (just 12 pages a day!) using the black background. It's pleasing to the eyes, and you don't need to turn on a light to read. I've read through the Bible 14 times and am currently on number 15.

    With the physical Bible, I can remember where on the page a verse is. With digital, you can bookmark and highlight it, but to put your finger on that particular verse by remembering where on the page it was located is something I can't do.

  • I have to agree. I am old enough to have been a student when our school became noted as the first to own its own computer. Glad we don't still use Fortran. I cannot imagine not having the pleasure of searching through an old book store for some forgotten treasure. Who looks through old data files?
    I still practice my penmanship when journaling…introducing my own form of calligraphy. I rarely find that on iPads.
    Still, tablets, lap books and computers do find their way into my life. They enhance my studies. They do not replace what I have and do.

  • I have to agree. I am old enough to have been a student when our school became noted as the first to own its own computer. Glad we don't still use Fortran. I cannot imagine not having the pleasure of searching through an old book store for some forgotten treasure. Who looks through old data files?
    I still practice my penmanship when journaling…introducing my own form of calligraphy. I rarely find that on iPads.
    Still, tablets, lap books and computers do find their way into my life. They enhance my studies. They do not replace what I have and do.

  • As far as I'm concerned books are both an investment and a legacy which I can pass on to my children, students or children in time. I value the flexability of Logos, especially when it comes to searching themes in my library etc. However, I wonder how I might pass on my carefully chosen collection to the next generation of preachers and teachers – surely the electronic versions, handy as they are, may be limited in this area not to mention my marginal devotional reflections, crits and the likes.

  • Except for light reading (only about 2% of my reading), I am usually heads-down in a book and need to mark the text, highlight quotes and major points, interact with the author's thoughts by annotating the text, etc. I find that easier and faster with a pencil and physical book. As long as an electronic book can let me do all of that (and more) easily and quickly, then I'm all set. It's not too bad on a desktop but a bit harder to do those things on mobile devices (iPad for me). I didn't grow up in a digital world so there are adjustments but it's well worth the effort.

  • Myself, i beleive it to be a paradime shift, we did it this way (hard copies), now times have changed and now this. Like tape recording, now digital so much easier and has got to be the easiest way to take what you need anywhere.

  • Print books can be heirlooms and passed down. While I can give directions to my account to transfer to another beneficiary on my death, what if they own the same digital books? As such books retain a greater asset value, especially if it is something like a family bible with notes and genealogies included by the original owner.
    There is also a possibility that technology reaches a peak and then the human element of Logos mainly it's administrative people will face a problem and all companies may use great database for analysis but customers are not just a pawns of data, and such analysis may lead to a false positive and sales dip on major Top admin decisions that misread the data. With books in print, there were many companies that went out of business and what remains is an out of print book. If Logos ever went under, say goodby to digital support, and with digital updates by the operating system you may no longer have digital access to those digital libraries. I'm not saying Logos will go under not do I wish it; but an EFT by Muslim extremist still says books will last longer. What of hacks?
    Everyone here who owns Logos knows how awesome it is and the benefits that it brings over printed books. But I think Logos should expand with its most popular items and have a book version with a digital pass code to own the digital version.

  • Reading on the computer has never been something I could do for any length of time. As soon as I downloaded Logos onto my tablet, everything changed…. I started reading numerous books from the library. Sitting on a couch vs. at a PC is not even a fair fight!

    The only thing that is not as easy on the tablet is notes. I find myself cutting & pasting to another note program.

    Thanks, John

  • Research is in two minds about the question of print vs electronic; some studies are adamant that print is better in terms of reader comprehension, others that there is no significant difference. The trend is toward the latter, no significant difference.

    Key themes of resource availability, portability, and ability to interact with and manipulate text (search, annotate) all point toward the superiority of electronic. The main points typically made by researchers in favour of print are the spatiality of recall (remembering roughly where a particular section is, based on physical location in the printed volume) and no digital distractions, the latter argument referring to the temptation to click a link or check your Twitter feed. Flight mode typically cures distractions.

    While reader preference is typically for print (though increasingly more are as adamant about electronic), primary studies tend toward no significant difference in terms of actual reader understanding.

    The technology will further improve, and increasingly readers will take to electronic for reading extended narrative. The debate between print and electronic is, ultimately, one of preference. I think the favour tips toward electronic based on those themes of availability, portability, and availability to manipulate text. It helps that the device I use (MS Surface) is a powerful enough tablet to effectively engage with these themes.

    I prefer print where I want to see it on my shelf and lend it to others; electronic is far better for the research and general reading activities that are more important to me.

  • I’m not tech-savvy so I would much rather focus on the content of a book than look for batteries or a cable, fight with uncooperative software or wait for pages to load. E-books do have their place while traveling, camping or reading in the dark but the tactile feel of paper, the use of a physical bookmark, cover art and the crisp sound of pages turning are part of the experience in reading paper books. And who ever stocked a library with rows of tablet readers? Displaying the books we’ve read and have yet to read remind us of what we’ve accomplished while beckoning us to sit down with a book and a hot drink from time to time.

    And when at some future point books become illegal, it will be much more difficult to confiscate paper books than to simply cut off access to a cloud.

  • Reading for pleasure–I prefer a physical book but increasingly find myself reading on a device, even for pleasure, especially my Kindle. Making it easy for notes/highlighting from Kindle-read versions of Logos books to be available in Logos is an important feature–up there with supporting Windows Universal Apps! It does not augur well for the future of print if even young boomers like me are largely switching over.

    Reading for research–digital is so much faster, more efficient, convenient, etc. It is not even close. I also think many books–concordances, indexes, harmonies, dictionaries, etc. –will soon have almost no print useage. The challenge (both practically and legally) with digital is sharing/lending/passing on. That will be an interesting set of issues to work through.

    One surprising plus of digital to me is the "social" aspect of seeing popular highlighting and effectively reading in community–something print can't possibly offer. One downside of digital is that the library is invisible and easy to forget and ignore–leading people to buy lots (more) books that they will never read or use. Good for Logos and publishers, but kind of dumb and wasteful for us users.

  • I grew up reading paper-books, but no longer can I put up with reading a paper book anymore. Here are the points that make the digital superior to the paper ones:

    1- The reading font-size is one of the factors … the ability to view larger is a big plus.

    2- The ability to have many applications opened on the same screen at the same time is very helpful & speeds up the work pace without having to hold a book.

    3- The ability to highlight, bookmark, use quotations (with footnotes come out automatically), easily find a word or sentence or chapter.

    4- The lower price, and the immediate download. In only 15 minutes I can have the book overseas without having to wait or go through customs.

    5- The absence of the need to carry or ship a book as we travel … all these make the digital book superior to its paper counterpart.

  • Almost all of my Logos library are what I call research materials/books such as bible commentaries, thesarus, concordances, theological dictionaries/works, some histories, and similar materials. When preparing sermons, or doing research for teaching, Logos is a godsend, allowing me to pull in materials from thousands of these kind of resources. Before Logos, I used to have a half dozen books laid out on the floor, going back and forth typing the material I needed. Now, the Logos search engin pulls in all the material and I can clip it to a working document. This is primarily what I need Logos to do. What I primarily need are materials that I can use for serious teaching.

    However, for other kinds of books that I read for liesure, I do not use Logos. For general reading, I prefer either a book or electronic Tablet version. I own a 10 inch Samsung Tablet. I like it for reading general materials, books, fiction and so on. I can adjust the type size, font and brightness to how I like the text to show up. There are many books I buy that I know I will only read through one time. For those, I use a Tablet for most of them. For books containing general material that I want to read and keep for research, I buy hard copy only. An example of this would be a person's personal story about dying and visiting heaven. Hard copy books allow me to mark them up and are more functional for me to use later.

  • I own Logos 6 Platinum, I couldn't possibly afford to have my entire digital library in print format. That being said, all of my bibles are all in print form. If there is ever an issue with power or the internet, it's nice knowing that I have my Greek, Hebrew, Latin and English bibles. Logos will always be preferred for research and I use my Android version for daily devotionals.

  • I don't agree that one should only or mainly use only paper and ink if having to choose. If I had to choose only one for doing research for my religious vocation, I would use Logos. I have a huge religious library. I worked more than half way through a St. Mary's University's graduate theology degree using only my printed books–without having to visit their religious library. That was before Logos. Using Logos, my research time would have been cut 90 percent. I am not against paper and ink. I love the tactile experience of holding a book in my hands. I still read some paper and ink. However, if I could only afford one venue, I would today choose Logos.

  • It seems like I do all my reading electronicly now days. I have a few paperback books that I am reading through but I spend most of my time reading either Logos books or Google Play books. I like how easy it is to mark something up in Logos while using my Nexus 7. I wish you could do the same with Kindle or Play Books but you can't.

  • Reading resources on a computer screen is useful for things that require manipulation like searches or original language research. Reading books is much easier for me on a digital reader, particularly one that is backlit like the Amazon paperwhite Kindle. There are times when holding a book is a great treat, but the majority of my reading these days is on an e-reader just for ease of carrying it around and for the ease of procuring books.

  • Digital is now best for me. I have all the resources I want and need in print; to move them to digital was a real problem. I either had to type them in myself, or scan them in. Each time I upgraded computers or scanners, the scanning software made life miserable. So now with Logos, I can copy and paste. Much finer! I do wish you'd add Wilson's Old Testament Studies to your library of available books for us.

  • I have converted my entire library to digital format (largely Logos, but also many other Bible programs as each has its own strengths and gaps). This is part of my ongoing philosophy of "own nothing, but access everything" (I understand that I "own" the virtual resource). Since I move frequently and have significantly downsized my physical space, virtual is a lot nicer. Additionally, having my entire library on my laptop / tablet with me at all times is fantastic, along with the ability to copy and paste content to my blog/journal without having to re-type and go to the exact location as a refly link is a great timesaver.

  • i use a laptop with an external monitor when multiple screens are needed (research, language studies, or when using multiple Bible programs). I use the laptop only when I want access to all resources at a coffee shop or friend's house. However, I find that the iPad is becoming more and more my "go-to" device – it is quite nice to sit back and read a devotional work and still be able to simultaneously update my journal with thoughts triggered by what I had just read.

  • Can one ask which is better, an apple or a pear? Print and digital both have advantages and disadvantages. Also personal preferance plays a huge role. General reading likes print but for study and search, digital has no equal. So which is better, maybe it depends on what you want from the purpose of your reading.

  • There is no contest here. Why I love e books:
    1. I no longer have to spend precious minutes, hours or days searching for that special book that I need that got misplaced.
    2. I no longer have to lug heavy comentaries in my suitcases during trips over seas. That means reduced luggage fees also!
    3. I can be sitting anywhere in the world and have my entire library with me!
    4. I do not have to waste time putting all my books back after study.
    5. I do not need endless table space to open all the volumes I am working with.
    6. Every book I want to open to, can be done with a click. Lengthy research is done in seconds!
    7. I can write endless notes during my bible reading and do not have to cram it into the margin or on another legal pad that I will probably misplace.
    8. I do not have go to a special library, a special book store to read or purchase the very book I need. And, even if I order it on line, my e version comes instantly for use.
    9. I do not need to buy more and more and then more book shelves.
    10. I do not have to strain my back carrying heavy boxes when moving.
    11. I do not have to dust my books, or discover ancient accumulated dust on an unopened book.
    Yes, there is lacking the joy of a fresh book, with its smell, with its crisp, clear pages ready for an intellectual assault like a fresh ski slope. Yes, there are always the memories of cuddling up with a book somewhere, but due to thousands of reasons, I am thankful that I live in the digital age, just like I am sure others were grateful that they lived in the days of the first printing presses that eliminated precious but cumbersome scrolls.

  • I wish there was a way to get 2 for the price of 1 – when you buy the digital book you'd get the print version too. I prefer hard copies for multiple reasons (annotating, reviewing your annotations, ability to skim more efficiently, etc). However, as someone who cannot drag their library along overseas the digital library is indispensable [compromise].

  • I have a few thousand tomes in my library – and double that in digital form, and I need both plattforms. Many cutting-edge publications are still not available in digital form. I absolutely prefer the e-ink platform and read most books on kindle. One disadvantage the digital publications have is that it is not easy – and sometimes impossible or illegal (at least here in Germany) to pass a book on after having read it. Another issue is: who will inherit my books – and how? When you have that much money tied up in books, you want to be able to pass the e-Books and Notes etc. on…

  • I think that both forms of material have it's place. It all depends on how you plan to use it. Sometimes it is more advantagious to use the digital format, while at other times paper format. It also depends on the individual and how best they respond to the different formats.

  • I like digital when it comes to reference materials like commentaries, lexicons, and dictionaries. I like paper books when reading theology and philosophy.

  • The additional benefit of a digital format is that the font can be enlarged to accommodate these aging eyes. This is especially useful in reading the original languages, where tiny dots and accent marks make tremendous differences in meaning. Additionally, the ability to increase or dim the backlighting allows me to comfortably see the text in any environment.

  • I am old school and find books more convenient and easier on my eyes. My wife is even more extreem and finds text on the sceen and will always print items of more than a page in length. I am the opposite. If its more than a couple hundred pages I will probably read it on the screen. If its a shorter book I will print it out.

  • While I now tend to purchase digital books whenever I can, largely for reasons of space and storage, there are some drawbacks. While digital books are great for reading stories, and can have tremendous value when gleaning information for making a presentation or writing something, they are not quite as helpful (to me at least) when it comes to studying. I have discovered that I tend to remember passages and references in terms of where they were on a page, and how far they are toward the beginning or end of a book. Visual/digital formats sometimes change locations on the pages. Also, because I am not physically handling the book, and looking at it each time a make a reference to it, I am more likely to forget the title or author. These may seem like small things, but because studying for me is more than simply a purely visual “word on page” experience, I have found this to be a limitation. For study purposes, I actually still find myself preferring a hard copy – even if I am slowly evolving toward more digital use.

    • I have a few habits for reading digital books that help me avoid that second problem: if, as often happens, a new book opens to the “beginning” rather than the “cover,” I religiously page backward to the cover on my Kindle or iPad/iPhone, and then page forward again through the copyright page, TOC, etc. I also try to get in my mind how many pages the physical book has. I agree that this is a drawback to digital reading. Quite a few times I have been surprised to see a physical book after reading it digitally, because its size is either smaller or larger than I assumed. But my little habits have helped me.

  • I have moved at least 26 times over the years. I have five 7ft by 5 ft book cases of books. Imagine packing, lifing, moving, unpacking, organizing ALL those books. Now that my hands have arthris, books are hard to hold open without pain. Sometimes electronic books are even less expensive. Moving to electronic books just makes sense.

    The negative? I do find it hard to keep track of what is in my electronic library and sometimes it is hard to find my highlighted quotes, but I can still highlight and keep notes. I can even change the shade of the reading page to make it less blue which makes it easier to fall asleep when reading at bedtime.

    The move to electronic books is a pain saver and practical.

  • I am still considered a young pastor at 35. I however have a decent sized printed book library (about 1,000). There are some books that are out of print that you can't get digital or new. I am still buying new books and still expanding my Logos libary. I do both as I can. For studying I use Logos always and often have 2 or 3 paper books open as well. For reading a topical book I still prefer to have that paper book in hand. Yes, I own a tablet, smart phone, Kindle Paper white, Laptop, and desktop but still prefer to have the book in hand if I can. To make a dogmatic statment to say one way or the other is foolish or unnessesary is just a narowminded view.

    There are good things to each way of book ownership. I live in Alaska we can be without power at time for several days or even a week. I am glad at those times when I have my printed book. Yes, I can run my computer off the genorator but there are many other priorites at that point. On the other hand I have a friend that is getting close to retierment and he owns verry few books. He is also a Pastor here in Alaska. He has spent several years on a few differnt missionfields. He is so thankful for having his digital labrary. As he has moved from one place to another or when he travles to speak he has his books with him.

    In conclution there are advantages to both. Some times I can find a printed book used cheeper than I can on Logos. I use Logos every week in sermon perperation and studying. I also read paper books every week. I do have to say haivng digital books is such a blessing. If the Lord were to take us over seas I might think of leaving my hardcover libary behind. I think it will be a log time before hardcover books are largly done away with. Having programs like Logos and others for study saves so much time and therfor alows you to dig deepr into God's Word.

  • One thing to keep in mind, and this is not meant to be a criticism of Logos, is that every digitial document WILL HAVE a limited life. Programs are "retired" due to lack of profitibility (Ancestry,com just announced they are discontinuing Family Tree Maker in 2016; Intuit is dropping Quicken), digital formats change (still have your WordPerfect documents?), means of storing data evolves (remember the 3 1/2" floppy?). The only way for them (documents) to survive is for companies to continualy upgrade to the new technologies and provide new products/features that will generate income. When the money dries up, so will the products.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Logos and I've invested a lot of money in the product. I certainly want them to be around for a long time. But in the end, they are just vaporware. Hard copy is forever (at least be our limited existence).

    Interesting tidbit: Years ago I read an article that discussed the fact that NASA had thousands of reels of digital tape data from the moon missions that cannot be read because they no longer have the equipment to read the data. This is high tech NASA! Who knows what our electronic medical files will look like in 5 years.

  • I have learned to enjoy Digital for study and preparation. The resources and cross referenceing with other digital material is great. And, I'm beginning to like it for just kicking back and reading a good story.

    My first love always will be paper. Nothing like the smell and sounds of turning pages to discover who done it.

  • Enjoy all kinds of books. Each kind according to its utility. References are definitely better in electronics, and nothing beats Logos! e-ink is nicest when in bed, because its the easiest to use, no on-off, no login, nothing but a grasp on the paper. I used all kinds of reading vehicle everyday, for study, devotion, leisure. I’ve got an android with big screen to be able to have Logos anytime anywhere. I’ve moved so many times, and by the process have donated, lost and damaged so many books, but never lost one in Logos. As long as they exist, I will use all kinds, if I have to choose only one, then digital.

  • I have found that dead tree format works much better if I am simply wanting to absorb the information in a book and probably won’t need to reference it later. I have found electronic format better if I will reference a work multiple times, such as commentaries, lexicons, grammars, etc. However there are some books that fall in between and I feel I need to own in both formats, such as Holmes’ Apostolic Fathers volume. I find that I benefit from simply reading the works in this volume, but at the same time I like being able to readily use all my language tools to do research on a particular word or passage in the original language.

    Doing large amounts of reading on a screen hurts my eyes, so I think eventually we’ll stick with print format for books we want to mainly absorb information from or read devotionally. And for books we will reference quite often we will probably stick with electronic format [especially since reference books usually seem to be quite large].

  • I’m 82 (in4 weeks) and “old school” in that I prefer print (I have a library of hundreds of books). However, there is NO way I ccould ever afford to buy all of the books I have on Logos – literally thousands. I’m going to buy (or hopefully get one for Christmas or my birthday) a “kindle” or such to transfer my Logos books to. That way I’ll have the best of both worlds!

  • I have Logos on my MacBook Pro, a Dell Inspirion, and IPad 4. At 59 years of age, I have used print version books for decades, and am finding converting a slow process, but am speeding up due to the convenience. The power of Logos 6 has showed the advantages of converting, and the quicker I go, the more I can do.
    Our smallchurch installed an 80" TV, and I insert pictures from Media Resources, and the church loves it.
    The one switch I haven't made is to using the IPad during sermons, though I use it during Bible studies and funerals.

    One last observation – no one has tried to steal print books, but I have to keep a close eye on my IPad and laptops in public.

  • I couldn't agree more. I too believe 'physical' books paid for should automatically come with 'digital and audio,' even if it costs a little more, I'd be fine with that. I also agree with a comment on this thread made by someone, can't recall, who was concerned about 'cyberspace and books.' Books in cyberspace can and I believe will be 'taken away' (Christian books) at the hands of a tyrannical government and world system. It would be much more difficult for that to happen to 'physical books.' And this has already happened. Just a few years ago, someone purchased a copy of Geore Orwell's '1984' (e-version) from their Kindle, and Amazon 'took it away.' I don't recall the reason, but it was 'creepy.' It had made the news, and articles were written about it and the 'ethics' involved. And you know if they'd be willing to take '1984,' they'll take the Bible. That's why I believe physical books 'should' be sold w/ the e-book format.

  • I recently purchased an 'electronic version' of Black's Law Dictionary for my Kindle app. Though it does have an 'index' as a paper book, I found the index very frustrating as I found out. For example, you may look under "C" for contracts.' Well, it'll get you to 'C' but with all the words being 'alphabatized,' by the time it took for me to reach the word 'contract, I'd almost had it. Imagine having to literally flip page after page to go from words beginning with 'CA,' to get to the word, "Contract,' ie 'CO.' I bought a physical copy the next day. E-books are good for some things, ie Logos with it's links to help research.' But, for other things, nothing beats a physical hardback book.

  • Israel Talavera According to this 2009 NY Times article, Orwell's books were removed not in a censorship move, but because they had been added by a user who didn't have the rights to them. Still, what you're talking about is a very real possibility, whether a company (e.g., Amazon) or the government is the instigator.

  • When you have to travel, weight is really an issue. I live in a foreign country and I need a big dictionary handy. And I like to carry with me a German Bible, a bible in the language of the land, the Greek NT and the Hebrew OT and may be some other books I want to read. All that is on my tablet (android), weight 500 g. In Print …

  • Important GUI feature needed for education: Computers are known to automate tasks such as auto-page turning to make reading ebooks a hands free task. Please use in a menu bar a classic clock face icon with a pair of eye glasses than when touched or clicked shows a number of seconds choices in boxes similar to ones for books of the bible that when clicked or touched will start automatic page turning for maximum concentration. Older users especially have various distracting discomfort pain issues when using hands to read books and other tasks. Auto page turning will help speed reading and general comprehension of ebooks. Touching the display, or mouse clicking, should stop auto-page-turning and resume normal functions. Please give this an extremely high PRIORITY in Logos software. Its about reading ebooks and getting the point across as effectively as possible with as few distractions as possible. Grace, Mercy and Love Always in Jesus Christ. Amen

  • Logos has a send to kindle feature that let's you read your logos books on your Kindle e-ink device. It is awsome and we'll worth it to get a Kindle paperwhite for extended reading with less eye strain.

  • Logos has a send to kindle feature that let's you read your logos books on your Kindle e-ink device. It is awsome and we'll worth it to get a Kindle paperwhite for extended reading with less eye strain.

  • I’ve been wrestling with your question for the last few years and am still not sure I have come up with a definite answer.
    I do most of my reading on my Kindle as I find it convenient to carry with me wherever I go. It allows me to highlight and I have figured out convenient ways I can save my highlights to computer. I have not used the note-taking feature available on the Kindle as I do not find it typing friendly.
    I do have an iPad so use the Logos app there but find the iPad inconvenient to carry around. (I know changing that to a mini would take care of that problem.) I have also figured out how to transfer my Logos purchases to Kindle but have not yet read any of those on the Kindle.
    I do not read on my laptop or desktop and cannot foresee doing that. They do not seem reading friendly. I have not considered audio versions and am not really interested in pursuing that option.
    I have on occasion purchased a print book after finding it very enriching and thought provoking on the Kindle. I’m not sure I will follow that in the future.
    For now my focus will continue to be the Kindle. Books are cheaper. The device is easy to carry and to read on.

    • Here’s why I have a Kindle but still think that buying Logos books is often the best idea: Logos books are interconnected through tagging in ways that Kindle books are not. This is especially valuable with reference works. Many times I have wished to run a powerful search through my whole Kindle library only to be reminded that it’s not Logos. I can search only one book a time, and the searches are not exactly fast. The Kindle is great for what it does—that’s why Logos has a send-to-Kindle feature. But it is not designed to be a searchable digital library the way Logos is.

  • Fortunately we do not face an either/or choice. I am in the process of selling off most of my print books and replacing them with the digital versions. I already know that there are some print books that I will retain – for various reasons. But the ability to get rid of entire bookcases is very useful, especially for older books that I may not read again but wish to retain their content for future reference.

    I wish the Logos software did more to aid in the transition from print to digital. I want to be able to organize digital books in similar ways that I use for print books. I want to create ‘shelves’ and folders and be able to see those groupings on screen. Tags and collections are too vague and non-visual.

    Also, when I buy print books I can take them home and place them on any shelf in any room of my house. Unfortunately, Logos does not allow me import ePub or Mobi -formatted books that I have acquired from other ministries.

  • Yes, in fact, the send to kindle feature is a good reason to get the books from Logos or Vyrso and then read them on your kindle. That way, you have them in your Logos library, as well as being able to read them on your device.

  • I’ve preordered my digital version of The Great Books long ago. Can anyone tell me when they may actually be released? I will really appreciate any news that may be forthcoming, thank you.

    • Hi, Robert,
      I’m sorry you’ve been waiting so long; that happens sometimes, especially with large projects like this. We are actively working on it, but we don’t yet know when it will be complete. As soon as we have it figured out, we’ll post the estimated ship date on the product page.

      • Thank you for your respone. I preordered very soon after I learned it would soon be avalible. As I recall I provided credit info but was told no charges would be applied until the digitized version of T.G.B.of.W.W. became avalible. How will I proceed to redeem the preorder? Any and all information you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

      • Robert, that’s right; we never charge your card for a pre-order until it “ships.” Instead, your order automatically processes when the new product releases. We send out an email about 2 weeks in advance to remind you that you ordered this, and let you know we will be charging your card. For more info, see https://www.logos.com/prepub/about .

        • Thank you for that. I really do want a copy of it when it becomes avalible, I can now sleep at night (:>).

Written by Mark Ward