Digital Pacifiers

I have a 9 lb. 4 oz. excuse for everything these days. It really is remarkable how such a little bundle of needs can dominate the schedules of two full-grown adults.

But he sure is a cute little bundle of needs. I’m surprised how fascinating he is. Every facial expression (well, except one) is so interesting. What is going on inside that little unfused skull?

The upshot of it is that my blog drought will likely continue till my paternity leave ends. But to tide both of you over, here is a real-world study in economics: my Kindle purchases and how much I’ve saved.


These are all books I wanted for my dissertation, with the exception of Wilson and Carson. Now, you might wonder whether it was worth it to spend several hundred dollars on a wedge of electronics and then buy just seven books for it, even if I did save $46.90, and even if they did serve the dissertation. A fair question.

The story isn’t that simple. There are currently 112 items on my Kindle. All but those you see on this list I either got for free or already owned in some other format. Crossway has given away a fair number of their titles, including the whole ESV Bible, which I use in church. I also have a few Jonathan Edwards books on the Kindle, courtesy of the JEC at Yale. And I have a good number of articles and electronic books from Logos and from Internet sources. The Kindle has been worth it, because I can take it with me wherever I go, it doesn’t hurt my eyes like an LCD, and everything I highlight is saved to a file for later use in my dissertation or BibleWorks notes. That has been invaluable. Good filing practices have been a major contributor to my progress.

And now back to that little bundle of joy/needs. It’s hard to do dissertation work when Aden is upset, and that means, to my shame, that there are sometimes two upset redheads in the home. But I found the solution: each of us gets a digital pacifier:


(Ten Mr. Mark points and one cute baby picture to whoever can explain that pun to others!)

Because the Kindle can display any of my books (except those which have Hebrew text, at this point), I can read the GNT or any number of dissertation-related books or articles while Aden happily sucks away. And because it’s one small wedge of electronics, I can hold it in one hand. That’s the best feature, as you can see. Without the Kindle I would miss some great reading time because of newborn-related ergonomic logistics.

I pray that the Lord would help me be a good steward of this little gift. And that one!

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Duncan on March 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    “each of us gets a digital pacifier”

    Aden gets Mark’s digit for a pacifier; the digital Kindle becomes Mark’s pacifier.

    I assume the picture is right here, right?

  2. James on March 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Simple enough – the Kindle is your “digital” pacifier; your finger is a “digit” and Aden’s pacifier. 🙂

  3. Luke Seelenbinder on March 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I want those points. 😀

    Let’s see here, your pacifier is a digital book… aka, kindle and your cute baby’s, your pinky digit, aka your smallest finger.
    If you were just kidding about that, I am duly embarrassed. 🙂

    Enjoy those “pacifiers.”

  4. Mark L Ward Jr on March 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

    10 points for everyone!


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