Do you read your bible off of a device? Or, do you read it old school? A good old-fashioned nicely leather bound 1,000 plus page book?
This is a question that I've asked myself many times and have also been asked. There's kind of a weird stigma around reading a digital bible. It doesn't feel as holy I guess. At any rate, my personal preference is to do it old-school. I like to read my bible like it's a real book. If not for anything else, I like the nostalgia. The sound of the thin pages turning. The look of the ink wearing. The underlined passages from years passed. The oil marks from my fingers. The smell of that oh so soft calfskin leather. What a delight.
All nostalgia aside, I want to give you a few reasons why I prefer (at least currently) a "real" bible versus a digital one.
If there's one thing I can't stand about digital bible apps, it's the fact that they crash. And they seem to crash a lot. It makes me crazy. I hate being in the middle of a good Old Testament story or parable of Jesus or argument of Paul, and then CRASH! Nothing. Just the home screen. Now I have to go back in, push the button, wait for it to reload, find where I was, and get back on track.
As it turns out, a "real" bible never crashes. Always the simple nice fluidity of words on a white piece of paper.
The second thing I like about a "real" bible, is that it's less distracting. Let's face it, bible apps are pretty flashy. There's so much you can do with them. Little letters and numbers to push that will take you on an hours long rabbit trail. Various ways to highlight and take notes. The simple ease of touching a word and having it defined for you in the moment. Oh what joy. But oh what a distraction. As convenient as these little tools can be, I also find that they can be horribly distracting.
There is a sweet joy in opening the book on a quiet morning and simply reading a passage without the ability to push a button. I love a time of uninhibited, no rabbit-trailed devotion.
Now this might just be me and it might be really strange, but I can't stand not having any spacial recognition. When people ask me about a verse, I want to know where to go. My bible has depth to it that a screen doesn't. This way, even if I don't remember the exact chapter and verse, I at least have some depth perception and more ease in finding what needs to be looked for.
I've read passages many a time on an iPad. It never fails, that when I go back to look for that passage, I find myself scrolling endlessly with the inability to find what I'm looking for. This simply doesn't happen (not as easily at least) with the "real" deal.
It's About The Content
In the end, these are all personal preferences. I've discovered that I personally enjoy reading the "real" deal. What needs to be made clear is that reading the bible is not about the method of delivery, rather, it's about the content. The delivery method might be ink on pages or a digital screen. You might use an iPad mini or a little pocket bible. You might even be the weird guy who carries his ESV study bible around (perhaps you like the workout?).
It doesn't really matter how you read the bible. What matters is that you find what works best for you and your personal time with Jesus. The reason we read our bibles is to know him more.
So pick your weapon. And happy reading!