Buying Books and Stuff

The Kindle Store.

Shopping is not the easiest. Well, it is if you know what you want.

I like book lists and suggestions when I look up a title. There are no lists like you might see on the real Amazon site and their only two suggestions for you to check out that might be similar to what you were looking up. Not a biggie, but I like looking around for stuff and this limits that fun. Much of the time I will spend some time on my computer looking up stuff on Amazon and then I can do one of two things. I can add it to my wish list when I am on my computer or the Kindle has an option to add to you wish list and you can keep it there. You can search within the Kindle store by typing in the author, title, key word, etc. It gives you the options of Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, Top Sellers, New & Noteworthy, and Recommended For you. Now in that option (recommended for you) they have around four pages or forty titles of suggestions.

Most books run around $9.99. Here are the prices of what I have on my wish list right now:

–       A Praying Life – $9.99

–       The Pursuit of God – 99 cents (although I am unsure of the formatting, i.e. PDF’s)

–       Souls in Transition – $9.99

–       Superfreakonomics – $9.99

–       Repacia: The Second Circle of Heck – $9.99

–       Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent – $9.99

–       Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit – $9.99

–       The End is Now – $9.59

This next part of shopping might just be my favorite option.

Try a Sample.  This is beautiful. Especially for me, “Kenny the book starter”. You can download a sample that will give you up to the foreword and the first two chapters. I have found this to be incredibly helpful. This has allowed me to affirm that the book will be good one or not. I can see the writing style of new authors I have been interested in. I can read some of a book that hits on interests I have. This has saved be some money so far. And that is also why Superfreakonomics is in my wish list and why I just finished reading Timothy Keller’s Counterfeit Gods. I currently have samples to read of Perspectives on Family Ministry, The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher, and The Gospel Driven Life.

What have I bought or read?

–       Timothy Keller – Counterfeit Gods

–       In My Place Condemned He Stood – J.I. Packer (a free giveaway from Crossway)

–       Seth’s Blog

–       Suffering and the Sovereignty of God – John Piper

–       Desiring God (PDF) – John Piper

–       USA Today

–       Preaching in a Postmodern Culture (PDF) – Keller/Clowney

–       Reverb Study (PDF)

–       The Pilgrims Progress (Public Domain) – John Bunyan

–       Preaching Christ in All of Scripture – Edmund Clowney

–       The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle 2 – This was a 99 cent book that is worth every penny

–       ESV Study Bible

–       Orthodoxy (Public Domain) – GK Chesterson

–       Why We Love the Church – Kevin DeYoung

–       Romans – R.C. Sproul

–       Vintage Church – Mark Driscoll

–       The New Oxford American Dictionary – Included.

Next: Wrap Up

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Reading: Isn’t that what you want to know?

Reading.
I think I have covered how a book reads pretty well, but let me elaborate on what reading does not translate well. Bibles. The Kindle is not going to replace how you carry your Bible. It is too tedious. For us Bible junkies we are rarely reading through a passage that is not going to take us to another passage somewhere in Scripture and that’s where the fun ends with the Kindle and the Bible. For example, if I am reading Matthew chapter 3 and it references Exodus (not sure if it would off the top of my head) it gets tedious. I have to go to Table of Contents, scroll to Exodus, click on Exodus, scroll to the chapter I want, and then turn pages to get to the verse I need. Bleh. You might wonder if you could just search the book and go directly to Exodus 3:17. Nope. If you search that it is going to be a very comprehensive search of Exodus and the number 3, and the number 17. Not together. It doesn’t read the formatting of a Bible the way we would want it to.

Is this a bad thing? Only for the sake I hoped it would be a great way to carry my Bible. And, because I love holding a Bible and perusing its pages this one doesn’t hurt so bad. Maybe because I spent money for it, but let’s face it if I have an Ereader I am going to have a Bible on it.

To finish that thought pattern. The Kindle is just not built for reference books. And for Bible lovers and pastors the Bible is a reference book. I would say that what I use in Logos Bible Software I would not use with my Kindle. And what I use my Kindle to read are not books I would add to Logos. Kabeesh?

Newspapers. I ran a 14-day trial of USA Today. Its OK. It has been very nice to read while traveling as compared to reading the news on my phone. But, it is not worth $11.99 a month.

It breaks down the paper in its appropriate sections and then you can scroll page by page through the articles. If you don’t want to read the article you turn to the scroll button take you to the next article with one move. You can also go to a section and it can list all the articles in it and you can go directly to that article.

Magazines. Haven’t tried one yet.

Blogs. If you are blog reader I think the Kindle is pretty limited since you can read any blog online for free.  You can access a RSS feeder like Google Reader, but it is similar to a mobile web look and the Internet is slower than your phone and a bit buggy. We’ll cover the Internet option later. I am only doing one blog. And that is Seth Godin. It is .99 a month and I like the way he reads and he keeps it short and too the point. I don’t really see me adding any other blogs since I access my Reader all day long and keep up with who I am following that way for free.

Note: I have since deleted my blog subscription. Waste of money.

Documents. This topic is bigger than you think. Kindle’s read PDF’s. Some interesting things to note; you can email PDF’s straight to your Kindle or USB them. What PDF’s would I need? One, is our Bible Fellowship curriculum.  The others are books on PDF’s. I already had Suffering and the Sovereignty of God in PDF format before I got the Kindle. I recently downloaded a series of talks from Timothy Keller and Edmund Clowney on PDF also.

Here are some things you should know.  All those options I mentioned earlier like font size and highlighting are null and void with PDF’s. That is frustrating. But there is a work around. With a Mac you can use Calibre and with a PC you can use Mobi Pocket Creator to convert them to a more Kindle friendly format. This is what I have chosen to do because it brings back the options of highlighting and notes. And having the PDF’s are pointless without those options for me. But, again there is a drawback. In the conversion most if not all formatting goes away. So it is one long document without any breaks. But, either way, PDF’s will not have a table of contents.

Since I wrote this I have found that Books turned into PDF’s are only readable if you don’t format them for highlighting and note taking. If you have additional questions about PDF’s let me know.

Next post: Buying books and stuff.