Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: The ESV Study Bible for the Amazon Kindle

The ESV Study Bible has been available for download on the Kindle for awhile, now. I've been using it for a long time and thought that I would share some thoughts from my experience with it. I made a couple of videos demonstrating actual use of the ESV Kindle. Hopefully you will see the pros and cons in action:

Here are the pros:

  • The small size of the Kindle vs. ESV Study Bible. When it comes to lugging around the large Bible + Study Notes or slipping the Kindle into your backpack, there's simply no comparison. Also, just reading any version of the Bible on the Kindle is sort of a pleasure just because of its size.

  • The Text-to-Speech function comes in very handy when reading the Bible text, the study notes, or the introductory essays to each book of the Bible.

  • Adjusting the text size is very handy. In low light, blowing the text up a bit can be a real plus.

The Cons:

  • It's not a physical Bible, and therefore if you're really good at finding your verses quickly, it feels like being trapped in DOS when you're used to OSX. If you want to find 1 Tim. 3:8, for example, you have to push "Menu," "Contents," "1 Timothy," and "3." Then you have to press "Next" until you get to verse 8.

  • The Text-to-Speech reads the number for each verse, so it's not always a streamlined reading of the verses.

I used the Kindle ESV every day for the last two months for my daily Bible reading, and I found the interface tremendously clunky. Reading Proverbs 16, then going to Matthew 1, then going to Deuteronomy 19 can be a real chore, especially when you know you could do it quickly with the physical version.

As far as real-world usage, I take my Kindle ESV with me when getting together with friends just in case I need it, and I take it to work with me in my lunch box. It's just great to have in a pinch. As far as using it for your daily reading, you might initially like the idea. If you're just reading the Bible straight through and not doing a lot of jumping around, then the Kindle ESV is just peachy. I do recommend it; I think every Christian who wants his Kindle to be a tool to the glory of God has no excuse for not having the Bible on his Kindle, and at under $10, there isn't much of an excuse for not having the best English version of the Bible on it.

The ESV Study Bible is currently available for the Amazon Kindle for $9.99.

1 comment:

  1. Adam,

    Nice review. I thought I'd let you know about a digital edition of the ESV Study Bible published by Logos Bible Software, scheduled for release on September 15, 2010. It has advanced tagging, linking, and a bunch of other features not available on the Kindle. I thought you might be interested.


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