the kindle changes many things

I haven’t posted for a while. I think the reason is my new Kindle. I have entered the e-book era with a vengeance, a little late, I suppose, but  I entered it nonetheless.

A whole world of e-books is available, much of it for no charge. Check out Project Gutenberg for many titles, already formatted for the Kindle.

In addition, I have saved many pdf books, booklets, and articles on my hard-drive over the years, meaning to read them later. My Kindle makes this much easier to accomplish. You can copy your pdf files right over to the Kindle, although you may want to edit the font size for best viewing … or convert that pdf to a Kindle format book. I have discovered several free software packages for performing this task and for managing Kindle content.

  • Calibre is a library and conversion program. I think you can convert books from B & N’s Nook format and other e-publishing formats into the Kindle format. (You can also convert from Kindle format to other formats if you use a different sort of reader.) Really an excellent program.
  • MobiPocket Creator is a program that converts pdfs into e-publishing format. I have discovered that it may require some formatting and html coding in some books, but it does get you started on the project. This site also offers books for sale, but I would recommend staying away from that portion of the site.
  • Sigil is a program that edits html and saves it in epub format. This allows you to customize your file to display how you would like it. Some knowledge of html is required.

There are other programs out there, perhaps some better than these. I’ve found these helpful, but my projects take on a life of their own and often consume a good deal of time.

As for reading, I find the Kindle to be quite handy – I seem to read a little faster with it as well. You do need good lighting, the e-ink technology can be read in sunlight, but no backlighting makes my living room somewhat problematic in the evenings.

I also am using the Kindle for preaching. I write my sermons in my ‘normal’ 8.5 by 5.5 templates and then copy and paste into a special template for the Kindle. I have to boost the font to 25 or 30 points, then print to a pdf, then copy over to the Kindle. But from there, the file reads very well in the pulpit and it means I can get away from my compulsive saving of paper notes.

One of these days,  I’d like to get an iPad for the preaching – it wouldn’t require “pumping up the fonts”, at least from having a look at a friend’s iPad. And it might be way more cool. However, for now, the Kindle is an affordable and very adequate solution.



  1. Still not on the read books electronically bandwagon, but I do love my iPad for teaching. I write my notes in Word, save them as PDF, send them to Dropbox, and then pick them up on my iPad, where I can either used them directly from Dropbox or (which I am doing now) send them to the GoodReader PDF app. GoodReader allows me to mark up the PDF after the fact if I want to, add notes or underline things I want to highlight.

    The iPad display is bright and I can enlarge the text as needed with just a whisk of my fingers…

    The only problem with an iPad is that everyone in the family wants to use it.

  2. Joel says:

    It is inevitable. Sooner or later all of us who read will come into one. And I think it will be good for the quality if perhaps not so much for the price of real books. They will become something more like a luxury good. I am hoping print-on-demand will flourish with custom bindings, etc.

    I don’t know, are used book stores being flooded with paperbacks and living the last of the glory? The used book trade is going to feel it in a decade or so, my beloved used book trade. I fondly remember bookstores that are no more, that once were whole houses full of the smell of paperbacks gently growing yellow.

    I wonder if libraries will start lending the apparatus as part of an account.

    Part of my reluctance at the moment is downloading from Amazon here in Colombia. When I tried to buy music from them, I was blocked.

    • @ Andy

      I hear you about everyone wanting to use your iPad! It is next on my list for the preaching purpose. But the Kindle is adequate for now.

      @ Joel
      I also agree about the books. Just having them is part of the value. However, I have realized that a lot of the ‘preacher books’ I read are not worth keeping on my shelves. Not even worth reading, some of them! These are usually new books, so perfect for the Kindle. The good old books, if you can find them, they are worth having. The nice thing about Kindle is you can find FREE old books. I was just reading Luther on Translation this morning. Very entertaining, and instructive as well. (You can get it at Project Gutenberg.)

      BTW, our library is lending out readers and e-books. I don’t know what kind of readers they are. But I can download e-books for a limited time from our library. I haven’t checked them out… that will be another source to explore one day.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  3. Brian Ernsberger says:

    Thanks Don, the appetite is whetted for this 21st century gizmos. But it will be a while, I think. The preaching idea is very good and would be what I would be driven to first. The book reading thing will probably come later. Just love the “feel” of actually holding that book in my hand and actually flipping those pages. While everyone is after the ipad I have noticed that my beloved Toshiba has entered the fray of tablets this past Monday. Priced lower than the ipad on each size level (16Gb, 32Gb, 64Gb). Don’t know all the specs though to do any real comparisons.