Dec 8, 2014 Richard Mansfield

Accordance vs. Print Books & Ebooks

You're ready to buy a new book. Have you ever wondered--what's the difference between a book in Accordance format or a regular ebook? Or is it best just to buy the book in print? If you are ever torn between these choices, here are some thoughts to consider.

Book Stack Accordance vs. Print. I know, I know.. new books smell great. They feel good in the hand. You can read them in the bathtub. But is this enough?

Think about this: The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary Series contains only eight volumes so far. But would you want to carry all eight physical volumes around with you? What about the 38-volume Church Fathers? Having these reference works in Accordance means you can always have them with you, and they don’t weigh any more than your laptop or mobile device. The library used to be a place we went to; now the library goes with us!

Finding content in Accordance is much faster than thumbing through page after page of a reference work or looking in an index, hoping that what you’re looking for will be there. With Accordance, you can search for any subject in a variety of ways and find it at near-instantaneous speeds. Hold that thought, though—I’ll come back to it in a moment.

Accordance also future-proofs your library. Physical objects (such as print books) are subject to physical harm. Heaven forbid this happen to you, but fire, flood or any other kind of natural disaster can wipe out a personal library created from decades of investment in print books. I’ve known people to whom this has happened. Once you purchase titles for your Accordance Library, however, they are yours—period. If your laptop or mobile device is lost, damaged or stolen, you don’t actually lose your Accordance Library. It can be downloaded again on a replacement device.

Kindle Bible Accordance vs. Ebooks. Some people think of the many titles you can add to Accordance simply as ebooks, but they’re much more than that. Occasionally, someone will point to a sale Amazon is having on a Kindle title that we also have in Accordance and ask if we are going to match prices. This question, however, misunderstands the distinction between books in Accordance and regular ebooks.

The kinds of ebooks you might read on a Kindle or Nook device are great, but they are what I consider “dumb” texts. Yes, you can search through them, but you can only search all text at once, and only in one language. Accordance titles are “smart.” That is, Accordance texts have been thoroughly analyzed by our developers who have painstakingly tagged different kinds of text.

search fields In the search window of every Accordance title is a dropdown menu that shows various search fields. These fields represent the kind of searches that can be done in any given title. They include everything from bibliographic text in a commentary to words in other languages such as Greek or Hebrew. These search fields will vary from title to title based on the kind of content in it. For instance, on the left you see the search fields available in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. It contains Greek and Hebrew search fields, but the Zondervan Atlas of the Bible does not because the Atlas doesn’t contain Greek or Hebrew. Here’s what it comes down to: you can’t run those kinds of searches in a Kindle book. In fact, you can’t get “normal” Hebrew text in a Kindle title at all.

At one time many ebook apps and readers had one advantage over Accordance—the ability to add notes. But now with the release of Accordance 11, you can take notes on any title in your Accordance Library! Add that to the very specific search fields in any title, and Accordance has suddenly become the best tool available for reading the Bible or books about the Bible. This is also why we are continuing to add an ever-increasing body of subject specific works in addition to the reference works we were focusing on in the past.

Finally, to each his own; but for me, I love the smell of new Accordance books!

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