Interesting Barna research report about pastors' reading habits

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, May 16 2013 4:56 AM

Check out the latest research done by Barna that examines the reading habits of pastors - http://www.barna.org/congregations-articles/623-the-reading-habits-of-todays-pastors

I thought the following quote was quite interesting.

"So what about digital books? Are pastors migrating to e-readers? Almost half of pastors said they use a digital device like an e-reader or an iPad. That number is nearly triple that of two years ago. Even so, more than half of pastors still prefer reading hardcover books to either paper back or digital. And, while e-book sales in the industry are booming and print declining, pastors of all generations and in all church sizes still prefer hard copies to digital versions."

Even though pastor's use of digital readers has tripled in the past three years less that 50% use them and most still prefer hard copies. We also need to remember that this survey is US based.

Even among Logos users I'd be interested who still prefers to read hard copies of books. I have mixed feelings about this question as I do love the feel of a book in my hands but the power and flexibility of digital research far outweighs my nostalgic feelings I get when I read a paper book.

Thoughts?

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 5:00 AM

Fine print usually discourages the reading of print, so most of my reading is done via ebooks.

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papa_gowgow | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 5:04 AM

Between laptop and Kindle I pretty much have everything that I need in electronic format. That said I still love spending a few hours in old bookstores, and picking up the occasional classic.  One thing I do agree with though: to my mind paperbacks have had their day. 

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 5:29 AM

Peace, Bruce!             *smile*

                      Thank you so very kindly indeed for sharing this information!        I find it absolutely fascinating!

                                   Just to add something else to the discussion ...    my wife and I collect cookbooks ...                   Yes!                       We have about 20 feet of cookbooks of every conceivable variety...               How do you classify that?                *smile*

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 5:44 AM

Milford Charles Murray:
Just to add something else to the discussion ...    my wife and I collect cookbooks ...                   Yes!                       We have about 20 feet of cookbooks of every conceivable variety...               How do you classify that?   

That's quite the collection of cookbooks Milford! I can imagine that you and your wife must enjoy some wonderful dishes.

I'm sure that it is not the case with your cookbooks but my suspicion is that quite a few libraries (including those of Logos owners) serve more as "collections" for some people than are practically used.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 5:46 AM

Bruce Dunning:
Thoughts?

Having an iMac, iPad, and iPhone, it is very difficult for me to take up a dead-tree book even though I have a very interesting one lying on my desk at the moment.

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 6:12 AM

Bruce Dunning:
....... but my suspicion is that quite a few libraries (including those of Logos owners) serve more as "collections" for some people than are practically used.

Again, Good Morning, Bruce!                Of course you are correct.             However, what choice do we have?   *smile*  

                                       I desire to be by a strong seminary library to have access to what I want when I want!        Since my Faith Tradition does not have a seminary in this town wherein I live, Logos serves me very well indeed by having my resources there for me; and I have almost 7,670 resources.  But, I do not use "all" my library "all" the time, of course ................

                                                    ....  but my Logos Library is there for me so I can access what I want when I want ....        *smile*

God help me have the right attitude!     I am somewhat "spoiled"!                   My true response is deep gratitude at this and so many other wonderful Blessings ............                                         May my life be one of Thanks Living!               *smile*

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 6:17 AM

Milford Charles Murray:
God help me have the right attitude!     I am somewhat "spoiled"!                   My true response is deep gratitude at this and so many other wonderful Blessings ............                                         May my life be one of Thanks Living!         

You are blessed!

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LaRosa Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 6:56 AM

At this point, if it's not in digital format, I'm not buying it.

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Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 7:21 AM

LaRosa Johnson:

At this point, if it's not in digital format, I'm not buying it.

Same here

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Paul-C | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 7:26 AM

I prefer reading books on my iPad, be it Kindle or Logos resources.  I love the ability to take as many notes as you like without them dominating the printed page, and the fact that if I make a mistake with a highlighter, I can delete the highlight and start again, rather than being stuck with it.  I also like the portability of having more or less my whole Logos library when travelling. Yes

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 7:32 AM

I'm in the middle. I love the indexed, searchable, space saving nature of my digital library. But I like holding a book in my hand as well.

To read a book for pleasure, I prefer a hard copy (though I have and will continue to read many fiction e-books). To read for study, I VASTLY prefer digital.

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 8:00 AM

I prefer to read on my tablet.  I'm able to size the font to what I like and its easier to hold than a regular book.  No pages to hold down.  I have steadily gotten rid of my paper books for the past four years.  As time and money allow, I hope to be all digital.  

The hardest part was switching to a digital Bible.  With all my notes and scribblings in it, it was invaluable to me.  However, since Logos added notes to the Android app, i haven't looked back. 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 8:11 AM

LaRosa Johnson:

At this point, if it's not in digital format, I'm not buying it.

Unless there are exceptional reasons I do the same - and, offhand, I can only think of one "exceptional reason" in the last six months.

This was for something foundational to a mission initiative in our church that was only available in paperback.

A few people have bought me paperback books but I am much more likely to read books on my iPad 

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Kevin Maples | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 9:00 AM

LaRosa Johnson:

At this point, if it's not in digital format, I'm not buying it.

Me too. 

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 1:56 PM
  • As the forum regulars must know, I'm not a pastor.

But I buy all kinds of books except Kindle. Cheap, expensive. The printed matter that I buy is mostly hardback, but if the hardback edition is hard to find I settle for the paperback edition.

I'm excited about several of the printed matter books that I have, and odd ones that I plan on buying, for example the ones revolving around what I mentioned in: OT: What is the most fascinating Christian topic?

One example of an expensive hardback I have, is the end-of 2011 Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible. It's a really good one, expensive, but worth the investment as it's recent.

An example of a Bible that I frequently use that's not in any Bible study software: the Jerusalem Bible. See: Jerusalem Bible or 1975 Bible In Order

A couple of times I have been impatient and bought a commentary as printed matter, and then it they have come in Logos about a year later. But I don't regret that at all.

Sometimes, for cheap (although they can be expensive per page) books, I've duplicated them so that I have them both in a Bible study software and as printed matter. A few $ a book was nothing to argue about.

If Logos offers a collection but I scrutinize it from the product page and possible reviews, then I usually just cherry-pick the volumes that I want as printed matter, that's much cheaper and then I don't need to worry about whether Logos will ever break it up or whether it will even be cheap in Logos.

 

Regarding whether I just collect books or actually use them: I will use ALL of them to justify each and every purchase. It's just a matter of:

  • a) to gain Gk skills first,
  • b) I have to prioritize other things at time, such as school homework, tests. For now I have too little educational background and no degree (not even high-school, but soon), so I really have to work on that,
  • c) I have to be interested of other things too, such as psychology, to be able to litttalk with my girlfriend, who uses Logos extremely little (she's not that good at English, fortunately I just found out that Logos has the newest Swedish Bible versions).

All-in-all I see advantages with both and try to make a balanced decision. I've used quite a bit of time for choosing books, so much that I almost regret it. I will definitely not use as much time as I did in February 2012-April 2013 many more times in my life. I confess that sometimes I've also followed discussions more intensely than necessary and I actually regret that. It's just that it takes a lot of time and effort for me to find new interests, so it was inevitable that I focused on choosing books! To not make a fool of myself in front of my girlfriend whom I'm recently with again, I'll really have to focus on other areas of life and pick up more varying interests (maybe revive old interests that I've tried to have). A step on the way was that I signed up for a full-time school. She said I seemed to feel better during the Fall semester 2012 when I studied full-time at that same school that I've now signed up for again, than recently when I've sort of had too much leisure time.

But I will do the occasional read-a-ton month in order to not feel bad about my investments or forget the Bible.

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Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 2:01 PM

I wonder if one factor is age...as younger pastors come into the ministry, who use more digital tools, there will be a difference. It would be useful to see the breakdown by age.

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 2:15 PM

Philana, Bible study software is pretty expensive, I guess many in seminary just buy the bare essential setup plus overstock printed matter now that some are selling their print libraries in favour of Bible study software. What I mean is that I think that right now and for a few years the price for used printed matter will be low and competitive because people are getting rid of it. Some are selling, others are buying which keeps prices down - this doesn't happen in the same way with Bible study software.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 2:18 PM

Philana Crouch:
I wonder if one factor is age

Yes, I believe you are correct. Old guys like Milford and me prefer digital Cool

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 2:21 PM

Philana Crouch:
It would be useful to see the breakdown by age.
All you have to do is buy the report for $450 and tell us what it says. ;-)

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

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