Catholic E-Reader Resources

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With this weekend’s announcement of the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members, I dragged my original Kindle Keyboard Reader out of mothballs (she’s been neglected since her friend iPad moved into my life) and charged her up.

Within minutes, I located and downloaded my first Kindle library selection, Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire, the second installment in the Hunger Games series. I’ve had my eye on the book for months, but have had a hard time justifying the expense when my office is packed with books waiting to be read. Spending some time each day with the Kindle has reminded me how much I enjoy using an e-Reader.

The good news for Catholics who enjoy reading electronic versions of classics is that there are many places where one can go to enjoy great books without an Amazon Prime membership, since at the moment there are only three titles in the “Catholicism” subcategory of the Kindle library. Here are a few options for great free Catholic ebooks:

I’m sure our readers have discovered additional resources for finding terrific Catholic ebooks. Please share your favorites in the comments below. While we’re on the topic of ebooks, I’d love to also discuss a question that has arisen frequently since Kindles, iPads, smartphones and Nooks became so commonplace.

Is it appropriate for Catholics to use these devices the way that we would use print versions of Catholic classics and prayerbooks in our Adoration chapels, at Mass or during prayer? Here are a few of my personal rules for use of ereaders in sacred spaces:

  • Ensure that the device is silenced.
  • Sit near the rear of the worship area so that my use of the device will not cause a distraction to others.
  • When using a device with access to the Internet, use it in “airplane mode” which temporarily disables the Internet and keeps me from becoming distracted from my spiritual reading.
  • Bring along hard copy alternatives in the event that it’s apparent that my device may distract or interrupt the prayer of others.
  • Spend extra time unplugged, in silence — even if I am reading spiritual materials, time simply praying quietly in the presence of God nourishes my soul and replenishes my spirit.

I’d love to hear from readers who use ereaders and other devices as part of your prayer time — do you have rules like mine or do you avoid using your tech toys in spiritual situations?

Share.

About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa’s articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

4 Comments

  1. As a facebook commenter mentioned, iPieta is a wonderful resource, worth much more than the $3 purchase price.
    I have a lot of resources on my iPad but I still prefer an “actual book,” especially when I’m out in public. I figure that church is not the place for me to be answering curious questions about Kindles or tablets–though I’m happy to do that when I’m in other public spaces using one of those devices. It’s nice for travel though!
    At home, I prefer to use a regular book for prayer rather than something on my iPad, because there’s too much other stuff there that can be a distraction (airplane mode or no.) It’s like keeping your calendar inside your Bible–the “productivity” stuff is always going to distract from the prayer stuff.

  2. I take my Kindle to adoration regularly. I have the Bible and lots of other spiritual reading on it. I was reading the Psalms on it just this morning while waiting in a doc’s office. I like the portability, the weight, as well as no “page turning” noise. It’s very easy on my eyes while other devices make me tire easily.

    I use my iPod Touch during morning prayer. I read the daily readings via Magnificat app then do a meditation based on the daily gospel via The Better Part app then follow up with favorite prayers on the Prayer app. I like A4C, too.

    I don’t use my Kindle (or any other electronic device) during Mass.

    Love the list of resources. Thank you, Lisa.

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