How much you REALLY read

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This post has 28 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 802
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Mar 5 2015 8:59 AM

This book on CP forced me once again to evaluate my own reading-buying practices and wonder whether those practices are abnormal. In my own library, I have a mixture of books and resources that I:

(a) keep around because they're reference works and I want Logos to find stuff in them;

(b) will read;

(c) may read;

(d) will probably never read.

My problem is that category (4) grows much more rapidly than I feel comfortable admitting, especially since my subconscious thinks that owning a book is equivalent to acquiring its knowledge. And when some resources are cheap enough, my willingness to buy an acknowledged category (4) book is enhanced.

My question: I know some forum denizens own lots more resources than I do. How many of you actually read a comfortably large portion of what you acquire? What's your take on this book/resource-buying phenomenon?

Of the buying of many books, there is no apparent end, even though much study wearies the body. (Paraphrase with some poetic license)

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Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:13 AM

Hi Lew;

For me, I would say that 90% of my resources fall into (a), about 5% fall into (b) cover to cover, 4% (c), and 1% (d). With Logos search capabilities, actually 100% fall into (a).

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:15 AM

Lew Worthington:
What's your take on this book/resource-buying phenomenon?

The single biggest reason I use Logos isn't to accumulate books I will read cover to cover. If that were the case, I would just buy kindle books. The reason I use Logos is to create a library. If you needed to research a topic, would you rather have the Mayberry library or the Library of Congress?

When I buy books, I look to buy books that I will either read cover to cover OR one that will add to my research library. The book in question has three biographies. Is it possible I might want to know more about those three individuals? (I know quite a bit about one; I know a very little of a second and have never heard of the third). The possibility of me reading the book "cover to cover" is small. The possibility of wanting to know more about those three individuals? Who knows. But for a buck, I'll buy it. 

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Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:31 AM

Same here. I will rarely read a book from beginning to end, especially theologies. I'm very much a "mood" reader. Whatever I'm in the mood for reading I'll pick up where I last left off. As it turns out, when I feel a need to go back to a book I've been reading, often times I'll search for more books on that topic and purchase.

I too build a library for research purposes. There's nothing more exciting (at least to book lovers) than to be reading and find out that you have some or many of the references said author refers to.

I just love to have books.

btw - I like your question about the Mayberry library vs. the Library of Congress. Great point!

alabama24:

Lew Worthington:
What's your take on this book/resource-buying phenomenon?

The single biggest reason I use Logos isn't to accumulate books I will read cover to cover. If that were the case, I would just buy kindle books. The reason I use Logos is to create a library. If you needed to research a topic, would you rather have the Mayberry library or the Library of Congress?

When I buy books, I look to buy books that I will either read cover to cover OR one that will add to my research library. The book in question has three biographies. Is it possible I might want to know more about those three individuals? (I know quite a bit about one; I know a very little of a second and have never heard of the third). The possibility of me reading the book "cover to cover" is small. The possibility of wanting to know more about those three individuals? Who knows. But for a buck, I'll buy it. 

mm.

Posts 591
Rayner | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:39 AM

alabama24:

Lew Worthington:
What's your take on this book/resource-buying phenomenon?

The single biggest reason I use Logos isn't to accumulate books I will read cover to cover. If that were the case, I would just buy kindle books. The reason I use Logos is to create a library. If you needed to research a topic, would you rather have the Mayberry library or the Library of Congress?

When I buy books, I look to buy books that I will either read cover to cover OR one that will add to my research library. The book in question has three biographies. Is it possible I might want to know more about those three individuals? (I know quite a bit about one; I know a very little of a second and have never heard of the third). The possibility of me reading the book "cover to cover" is small. The possibility of wanting to know more about those three individuals? Who knows. But for a buck, I'll buy it. 

YesYes

I would totally agree here.  I have a strong interest in academic journals, commentaries, dictionaries and systematics (Barth's dogmatics, for example) so fully acknowledge that I can't read everything, but I want to know that when I look up "Ember Days" or "Embertide" as I had reason to do the other day, that I will get very results from the best possible publications.  The reference library approach is one of the reasons I will always push for additional academic resources.  Access to an academic library is almost always reduced once one leaves university/seminary, and whilst I think it's a fantastically expensive way to retain access to books, I tend to view it as a long-term investment.  I'd also like to see better rounded journals, not because I want to read them cover to cover, but because the reference functionality is so key.

(I almost wonder whether I wouldn't be happy with just slight Vyrso+ tagging because the rest of what I need can be found by searching the text I'm reading.  I realise this wouldn't work for everyone, but it strikes me that Logos could publish resources far more quickly in Vyrso format and then add the Logos format later on.) 

Essentially, Logos is a much improved tool than Kindle because there's an ability to cut, paste, clip, highlight and make bookmarks etc.  I was just beginning to experience my kindle library as limiting when I found Logos.  All I need now is for Faithlife to improve highlighting and notes in Biblia, and it will be possible to study even without access to my main computer.

Posts 802
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:39 AM

Thanks for the input.

These answers help me focus the issue. Indeed, I know I will benefit from the search and link capabilities of Logos, but many of my academic works are most helpful because of the long, detailed explanations they offer. Just as an example, Von Rad's OT Theology would certainly supply value when I get hits from an OT passage in the passage guide, for example, but to really understand where he's coming from requires that the introductory chapters be read. In fact, monographs usually do not play well when read as verse-by-verse exegetical works isolated from the rest of the monograph since so much of the content is dependent upon the method that the author builds up earlier in the volume.

Most great commentaries are often that way. Although it's not available for Logos, Bultmann's commentary on John wouldn't make much sense if I were to conflate his findings of a specific passage with the exegesis of another scholar using a different method. Betz's Galatians commentary is similar in that regard because of the method he uses.

Hmm. It's analogous to Beethoven's fifth symphony. The four-note theme we all know isn't what makes this work amazing; it's what he does with it throughout the masterpiece.

All of this is to say that I agree, but you've helped me realize my particular problem is that many of my best resources are ones whose power is most manifest when they are read more completely than simply linking them in a Logos guide or word study or something like that.

Thanks!

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:45 AM

Gotta luv that pic.Big Smile

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 10321
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:49 AM

Interesting question.  

I'd bet it breaks out to the package-buyers vs the one-sy, two-sy buyers.  I'm the latter.  And I buy with the intension of reading.  Thus, I'm familiar with the author or learn about the author.  When I do searches, it's usually for something I already saw and want to return to.

The problem for me is that part-way through a book, I look for another book to expand on a specific subject (and rarely in Logos).  So, I have a trail of still-reading books.

Somewhere coming across the snowy plains of America is a treatise on the Ascension of Phinahas!  


Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 9:56 AM

Rayner:
All I need now is for Faithlife to improve highlighting and notes in Biblia, and it will be possible to study even without access to my main computer.

I'm glad to read you seemingly less discouraged about continuing with Faithlife than in your earlier post in another thread.

Kind regards.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 298
Lonnie Spencer | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:02 AM

"The single biggest reason I use Logos isn't to accumulate books I will read cover to cover. If that were the case, I would just buy kindle books. The reason I use Logos is to create a library. If you needed to research a topic, would you rather have the Mayberry library or the Library of Congress?"

I agree with Alabama 24, but it also makes me think of something else. They say you only use 5% of your total brain capacity. I wonder if that is the same percentage I use of my total library. If that is true, than I'm spending a lot of money on the 5% of my electronic library that I am using. At least when I had a paper library, I was familiar with what each book generally contained because I was able to do a lot of pre-reading before I spent my money. With an electronic book I may get the table of contents, a publicity blurb, and a sample that is not of my choosing or probably not of my interest for looking at this book in the first place. It seems to me to be comparable to a blind date. If I am lucky  a local bookstore or our college  library may have a  book  in stock  that I can check more thoroughly before I buy the electronic version. I still go through every book I own to familiarize myself with it. I never want a library so big in Logos that I'm using search results without a context of what the book is actually about. I think that would be proof-texting. 

Posts 621
Ryan | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:15 AM

Milkman:

There's nothing more exciting (at least to book lovers) than to be reading and find out that you have some or many of the references said author refers to.

Oh so true. Glad to know I'm not the only one Embarrassed

Posts 802
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:26 AM

Ryan B:

Milkman:

There's nothing more exciting (at least to book lovers) than to be reading and find out that you have some or many of the references said author refers to.

Oh so true. Glad to know I'm not the only one Embarrassed

Same here! And this is where my self-induced guilt kicks in. Materialism is materialism even if the material is cheap and even if the material isn't material at all!

Posts 371
James Chandler | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:30 AM

It's the same for me. Although there are many I will read, most are to add to my study of the Bible.

Running on ASUS Windows 10 I7 24 gig of ram, 1 Terabyte drive.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Posts 1850
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:47 AM

Before Logos we were probably asking the same question about dead tree formatted books.  

I remember being in a used book store purchasing a 3 volume set of Calvin's Institutes published in 1844, knowing I would never read them because of their age and the brittleness of the pages.  But they look good on the shelf.  But I do imagine who read them in the past and how many hands held them. 

Posts 802
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:52 AM

Kenneth Neighoff:

Before Logos we were probably asking the same question about dead tree formatted books.  

I remember being in a used book store purchasing a 3 volume set of Calvin's Institutes published in 1844, knowing I would never read them because of their age and the brittleness of the pages.  But they look good on the shelf.  But I do imagine who read them in the past and how many hands held them. 

I was asking the same questions about dead tree books.

And I have an 1850ish Bible with pencil markings. For something like 12 consecutive years there's something like "Starting reading the Bible on Jan 1, 1851..." followed by some comments and ultimately followed by "Finished reading the Bible on December 31, 1851". It's truly inspiring.

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 10:54 AM

James Chandler:

It's the same for me. Although there are many I will read, most are to add to my study of the Bible.

 Paradise

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 11:04 AM

Lonnie Spencer:
I never want a library so big in Logos that I'm using search results without a context of what the book is actually about. I think that would be proof-texting.

I agree wholeheartedly about the proof-texting... but the size of the library isn't relevant. The searches help you to find the pertinent sources. It is up to the reader to make sure one is reading appropriately. Might I suggest How To Read A Book? Smile

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Milkman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 11:09 AM

Didn't Paul say that he was content with little and with much. I read him as saying:

"Hey guys and gals, you don't have a lot of books? Don't sweat it, just enjoy what you have, but if you got a lot, man enjoy them! I have asked various churches in and around the Mediterranean area to give toward may academic allowance and they have heartily given. The Lord wants his people to be educated so I Paul say, 'buy as many as you can within reason (???) and don't feel guilty, besides how in the world can you enjoy anything if you're feel'n guilty."'

That's what my interpretation of that passage means. Just buy them and enjoy - life is way tooo short to feel guilty for helping people with our knowledge.

Lew Worthington:

Ryan B:

Milkman:

There's nothing more exciting (at least to book lovers) than to be reading and find out that you have some or many of the references said author refers to.

Oh so true. Glad to know I'm not the only one Embarrassed

Same here! And this is where my self-induced guilt kicks in. Materialism is materialism even if the material is cheap and even if the material isn't material at all!

mm.

Posts 2090
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 4:01 PM

I do pore over a lot of books, though don't read more than a few books a month cover to cover.  I like having access to them, especially since I am seldom near a library of any sort. A library doesn't compare with Logos which has many of the books I want and an unequaled way to access the information in those books.

I am not sure what all the "Most Used" or "Last Access" library filters do or how they work, but apparently 80% of my library books have never been accessed one time--according to blank fields in "Last Access."  

Are there command prompts to filter for these field?  

Based on "Most Used" it would appear that my Duka Database Papyri and a lot of Classic Commentaries are least used--rated way down at "104."

Curiously, #1 is my King James Bible, # 3 is the Bible Knowledge Commentary, yet why is #3 "Jews, Pagans and Christians in Conflict?"  I would like to read that book, but am pretty sure I never have.  I must have, for some reason, accessed it 100's of times when I first got it in Nov 18 2014.  

   

 

Posts 591
Rayner | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 5 2015 4:39 PM

JAL:

Rayner:
All I need now is for Faithlife to improve highlighting and notes in Biblia, and it will be possible to study even without access to my main computer.

I'm glad to read you seemingly less discouraged about continuing with Faithlife than in your earlier post in another thread.

Oh, I've no actual plans to go anywhere... In general, I think the direction Faithlife is heading in is positive.  It's just taking a while to get there :)

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