Although I'm an early adopter, I have little faith in others opting in very quickly. Over the years, this has manifest in me saying such brilliant things as "An online auction? Who's ever going to buy something over the internet?". Nevertheless, I'm going to go out on a limb one more time and make a pretty bold statement: Books are here to stay.

Not long ago, we were told eBooks would replace the paper bound versions...we'd all be reading Hemmingway on our PDA's from the comfort of our Chevrolets. (There's no literary use for the reference to Chevrolets in that last sentence...I just had a tempo going.) It made a lot of sense, really...my house is full of book shelves, and none of them are empty. They spill over into my backpack and even clutter my car. It would be so convenient, so tidy, so very millenial to have all those books and a complete wall chart of the book of Revelation neatly stored electronically for me to pull out and scroll through...but it's not happening any time soon.

Why? Because you don't scroll through a good book...you scroll through a spreadsheet. You thumb through a good book, and until they make a combo PDA/Smartphone with virtual dog eared pages, reading from a screen is like drinking coffee with your nose plugged. It can be done, but who would choose to do so?

What really convinced me of the staying power of the paper book is the condition of my favorite Bible. I've got more Bibles than Howard Johnson, but my favorite is a burgandy hardcover NIV Thompson Chain Reference that I bought in 1985. I have newer Bibles...even a newer Thompson, but none of them give me the satisfaction of this particular Bible. Granted, the back cover has fallen off...I carry it along to protect the concordance and maps (just in case I ever drive from Jerusalam to Beer-Sheeba). It has notes in it from when I was first starting to teach. (They keep me very humble). It has highlighted passages that spoke to me when we've made big decisions...a few verses underlined while sitting on the playa...and even a few scribbled prayers from the darkest days I've known.

When I'm in a big hurry, I go directly to BibleGateway. It's quick, easy, and a little antiseptic - all info and no soul. When I have time to reflect and to chase down the bunny trails of thought so easily found in the Thompson Chain, I grab the Book. The Book is here to stay.

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