For Christmas, I got a Kindle from my partner.
Rationale: I have an iPhone but realized that I couldn’t read eBooks on it very effectively. I like to see the entire paragraph when I’m reading and iPhone screens are not conducive to that habit. The iPad was too expensive, so I finally settled on asking for a Kindle. It’s awesome. Great to read on and I want to read more. So it’s a good choice.
So I loaded all my Kindle for iPhone books on it, converted my non-kindle ebooks via Calibre, and bought a few new ebooks (including Kester Brewin’s Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures).
Then I began looking for my theological books to see if there are digital versions.
And I kept coming up dry.
Why are none of my favorite theological books digital yet? Do they want to be extinct?
I randomly grabbed 10 books that I consider academic but not obscure and checked amazon for a kindle version. Results?
- Walking With the Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development – no ebook
- The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love – ebook available
- How (Not) to Speak of God – no ebook (and he is emergent? What?)
- God Christ Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology – no ebook
- Evangelism after Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness – ebook available
- If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Plus) – ebook available
- Story of Christianity: Volume 1, The: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation – ebook available
- Textbook of Christian Ethics, 3rd Edition – no ebook
- “Come Out My People!”: God’s Call Out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond – no ebook
- Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition – ebook available
So 50% had ebooks…maybe I was exaggerating the unavailability of ebooks. But I’d really like to have digital versions of the books and I’m willing to pay for them and they are not around anywhere. Sure, ebooks have surpassed analog books this year on Amazon.com, but it’s still a slow process to get good theological books out there in the ebook world.
One of the projects that I’ve considered for a long time is a book scanner similar to this:
In optimal versions, it can scan a 200 page book in under an hour (video here). There are smaller versions that are slower but portable too. Check out the book scanning forum for all the different builds.
What do you think?
- Is the answer to just wait for official versions to come out? I can’t even find a decent copy of John Wesley’s sermons. I’ve found 3/7 of the Complete Works of JW, but those are not helpful without the other 4!
- Can I legally make a digital copy of my own book that I purchased?
- Is this overkill? (even though searching my ebooks for “baptism” and collecting them in “My clippings” for background for this Sunday’s sermon was pretty awesome!)
Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness post. I’ve been reading a lot. 🙂