C.S. Lewis Logos Library: Why Logos is Different from Kindle

Hey folks:

A couple of you have asked why they should invest in the Logos C. S. Lewis Library instead of buying Kindle editions. Here’s my attempt at an answer.

The first thing to be said is that Kindle and Logos aren’t really competitors. They serve different needs and even different audiences. It comes down to you and your needs as a reader. So if your intention is simply to build an electronic library or to replace your paper copies as they wear out, Kindle (or another e-reader) might be a good way for you to go. It is fast. It is reliable. It is portable. And most of all, it is cheaper. One of the hurdles that I faced when I first started investigating Logos was cost. And you may balk at it, too. I have come to believe that its benefits far outweigh the price. I think you will, too.

If your intention, however, is not simply to read Lewis for enjoyment, but to actually research themes as they develop through his literary corpus, then Kindle (or another e-reader) is of no use use to you. In fact, it’s even less use than having multiple paper copies of books at hand. For research purposes (this is my opinion), Kindle (or another e-reader) isn’t a helpful tool. You have to close one book before you can open another one (you can’t have multiple windows open). Nor can you search words or themes across texts. (For instance, you can’t move from The Four Loves to The Allegory of Love to compare what Lewis writes about  “eros” in each).

Here is where the Logos library really shines. Yes, you will pay more than buying the individual titles for an e-reader. But for the extra money, you will be able to open multiple books; the texts are fully indexed and you will search easily through the whole corpus. In my next Lewis blog, I’ll take you through such a study. I have to confess that the Logos software takes some time to learn, but the investment of both time and money pays off!

I need to be clear, finally, that you don’t need to be a Lewis scholar or a professional academic to make good use of the Logos platform. Because I teach a fair bit of Lewis in a university setting, it’s a superb tool. But I can see it being used by Sunday School teachers, lay leaders, or just interested readers.

2 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis Logos Library: Why Logos is Different from Kindle

  1. Thanks, Tim. That is very helpful. Thus far, I have only accumulated free books in Logos and I haven’t done any reading of them. I recently read a book in Kindle for research purposes and it was somewhat frustrating, even though I did not need to have more than one book open at a time while I was doing it. I did a fair bit of cutting and pasting, so that I could get what I really wanted on its own and write some of my comments along the way. That worked reasonably well for a while, but I eventually reached the publisher’s limit, after which it was an even more difficult process to take notes. Here are a few questions, which I can’t paragraph without multiplying your comment thread. (1) Does Logos allow you to cut and past and, if so, do they have the same limits Kindle does? I think the limits in Kindle are set by the publisher but they may be more generous in Logos. (2) How about pagination? The Kindle book I was reading did have page numbers (not just percents which are useless for citation) but rather often I’d end up with a clip that claimed to come from 2 pages without telling me where the pagination changed, so citation in a footnote will be a bit sketchy. Any comments on Logos in this regard? I once read a book by NTW that we were discussing in a Life Group and there I was only showed percentages so I was regularly frustrated trying to find sections to which others in the group were referring, or to tell them where I was reading. I swore never to try that again. If I’d been reading the book in Verso on my phone, would I have done better? Thanks. (A posting from Terry Tiessen).

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