Mormon Studies on Your eReader

July 24, 2010 | 21 comments
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I got a Kindle a few weeks ago, and my affection for it is quickly approaching idolatry. But we aren’t going to talk about that right now; we’re going to talk about how to Mormon-Studies-geek out your ereader. Here’s what I have found so far; I expect you to add to the fun.

The Digital Collections at the HBL Library has all manner of awesomeness, including out of print books from the Religious Studies Center, BYU Studies, the Woman’s Exponent, and the Journal of Discourses.

Sunstone has complete back issues for download.

Dialogue has complete back issues for download.

This website has a nice listing of materials for the study of Biblical Hebrew that you can download.

I haven’t really looked at the Biblical Greek resources available, but this looks interesting.

This is a decent bible commentary, considering how thorough and how free it is. A little too conservative for me, which probably means a good fit for most of you. ;)

The Church itself has a nice collection of official materials for download.

The Eugene England Foundation has made a bunch of his writings available just this last week.

Signature Books
has lots of great stuff, but I wish they’d make it easier to download.

And, of course, all sorts of interesting old stuff is in the public domain, including the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt.

I can remember about two decades ago, sitting in my dorm room at UT and being enthralled by the arrival of a catalog–merely a few pages long–from Signature Books: look at all of those titles! For a mere $25 plus shipping each! It is truly an amazing time for Mormon Studies geeks . . . the variety of materials, the fact that most of them are free and all of them are instantly available, even to those of us living in “the mission field.”

I swoon.

And return to my reading.

21 Responses to Mormon Studies on Your eReader

  1. Sam B. on July 24, 2010 at 9:59 am

    So are you putting the PDFs on your Kindle, are you converting them to ePub documents, or are you doing something else? I put Bright Angels and Familiars (from the Signature site) on my nook, converting into an ePub book, but the process was kind of a pain (although the book was worth it).

    I’m just looking forward to Lengthen Your Stride arriving; I don’t know if I’ll bother opening the book, but I can’t wait to put the CD-ROM version of that and the prior biography of Kimball on my nook.

  2. Julie M. Smith on July 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Sam, I’ve just put the PDFs on without any converting. I thought I would try to read straight from Signature’s site using the Kindle’s browser, but haven’t had time for that yet.

    Thanks for reminding me about the CD with the Kimball book . . . hadn’t thought of that.

  3. danithew on July 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Almost thou persuadest me to buy a Kindle.

  4. Julie M. Smith on July 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Oh, danithew, do it! I adore it!

  5. Naismith on July 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks Julie–I’ve been reading ebooks on my iPhone for some time, but had no idea of this wealth of church-related content.

  6. Ben Park on July 24, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Here’s a hearty “amen” from another kindle worshiper.

  7. Willard C. Smith on July 24, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Kindles may be fine, but I am leaning toward Nook. Never the less, this collection would also look great on a Nook. Leaving the material in pdf format is OK, except that it takes up more space. Converting your pdf to ePub format will probably save 80% of the pdf space, therefore your Kindle or Nook will have more room for more stuff!!

  8. charlie on July 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    are there any advantages to a Kindle over an iPad (aside from the lower price)?
    I’m leaning toward the latter. Any reasons to think seriously about a kindle (or Nook, for that matter) instead?

  9. Sam B. on July 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Willard,
    Do you know of a convenient way to change PDFs into ePub? And I would totally endorse your choice of nook over Kindle, especially because right now B&N is releasing some of its Barnes & Noble editions every week for free. But you can go to Gutenberg.org and download ePub versions of lots of out-of-copyright works, which should presumably work on Kindles, but I know they work on nooks. I’ve learned to love Gutenberg.org.

    charlie, iPads are more versatile. But nooks and Kindles are easier to read, I think: there is no backlight to the text, so you don’t feel like you are reading a computer screen. You feel a lot more like you’re reading paper. Among other advantages, you can read your nook or Kindle in direct sunlight, in a way you can’t read the iPad. (Although you could read your iPad in the dark, and you can’t read a nook or Kindle in the dark.)

  10. Naismith on July 24, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    For conversion see

    http://calibre-ebook.com/

  11. Sam B. on July 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Awesome, Naismith. Thank you!

  12. Tseb on July 25, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Do you know if any FARMS material is available free for ebook? Mine is a BeBook – I use almost exclusively ePub using Calibre for conversion (the PDF don’t seem to format well on the BeBook when I zoom in to be able to read them, and of course much more disk space!)

  13. Kent Larsen on July 25, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Julie, you’ve left out Google Book and the Internet Archive, both of which offer books in both pdf and epub. You can find an astounding amount of Mormon Studies material on Google Books, and BYU has uploaded some materials to the Internet Archive that aren’t part of its Digital Collections.

    I should also note that many pdfs, such as most of those at BYU’s digital collections, are simply image files put together into a pdf. Converting those to epub will still give you image files in the epub. They will be relatively very large and you won’t be able to select the text.

    But, its better than not having them!

  14. Bob on July 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

    #8: Reading in the bath tub. Some of the E-readers are harder to use with one hand. Netbooks are good for reading at breakfast as the screen is upright. (So I am told).

  15. David M. Morris on July 31, 2010 at 1:52 am

    oh my…. you forgot to add all of the journal articles and reviews from the International Journal of Mormon Studies (IJMS) at ijmsonline.org – I now look at the list and feel it’s complete ;)

  16. danithew on August 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    One thing I’m wondering about is the upgraded technical equipment and whether or not a person is allowed to transfer books already purchased from an older version e-reader to a newer-version e-reader – assuming both e-readers are the same brand.

    Say a color Kindle comes out in a year – would you be able to transfer your book/magazine collection?

    On another note – it appears Kindle is already about to release a new cheaper and improved version of its device. I think the new price being listed was $139.

  17. Julie M. Smith on August 2, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Danithew, I know that would be possible with a Kindle. I don’t know about other ereaders.

  18. Carl Youngblood on August 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Why is everyone talking about Kindles and completely neglecting the iPad? Reading PDFs is (no lie) 1,000 times better on an iPad. The Kindle is like a Model T compared to the iPad. It simply can’t compete. This is from someone who owns both a Nook (very similar to the Kindle) and an iPad.

  19. Carl Youngblood on August 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I should add that the iPad runs the Kindle app and the Barnes and Noble app, so any book you can read on a Kindle or Nook can also be read on an iPad.

  20. Sam B. on August 7, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Carl,
    The iPad looks way more functional. But I can read my nook in direct sunlight, and it’s not backlit. I admit, I don’t love reading PDFs on the nook, although it works fine for that, but I prefer reading on the nook to reading on a screen.

  21. Julie M. Smith on August 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Carl, it depends what you want out of life. I don’t want to spend $500 or have a monthly access bill. (Kindle was $125 and no monthly bill). I want something that will fit in my purse. The Kindle weighs 1/2 as much as the iPad. It is easier on the eyes for reading. And I don’t want more Internet access in my life–I want more books.