On Bible And Highlights – Josh Journal
I use the You Version Bible by Life Church, and I must say, it is probably the best Bible app available on the Google Play Store.
I don’t know about other play stores, but for Google Play Store, I stand by my verdict.
Other than the seemingly endless Bible study plans, one of the best features of this app is the highlight feature.
Unfortunately, I never exactly developed the habit of making highlights.
When I was using the hardcopy of my Bible, (which I’ve not used in over five years now), I hardly ever made highlights in it.
This is despite reading through it twice. I just couldn’t.
My inability to highlight books is not limited to the Bible. I carry the same attitude into reading books too.
You can’t find a biro mark or highlight in any book I read. It is so bad that I do not even write my name on my books. (Maybe now you can understand why I’m reluctant to borrow you my books.)
I had to take a critical look at this aversion to writing on books and look for its genesis.
With the benefit of hindsight, I think it all comes from my fear of I or others defacing books.
Growing up, my hobby was reading and writing. I know a lot of people like to claim this, but mine was different. Either most people were lying, or my reading was on another level.
It might sound like I’m bragging, but honestly, I don’t mind because I know it’s true.
Those who knew me growing up can testify to the veracity of this.
I should also write about my reading pedigree some other time. That might be a tool you can use to challenge your kids to get reading.
As much as I read, and wrote, (believe me, I did a lot of writing.) Yet, my handwriting was poor.
Like, piss poor. So poor my headmaster was taking me in handwriting sessions. Bad enough for me to get others to write my name on my books. That bad.
Knowing how bad my handwriting was, when I began buying my own books with my own money, writing my name on them just didn’t feel right.
I wrote it a few times and didn’t like the look. I even switched to my initials, yet it still felt like I was vandalizing the books.
With a sense of resignation, I just stopped writing my name on my books. To ensure they didn’t get lost, I stopped borrowing them out too.
At this point, I had already developed an unusual style of reading.
I had read somewhere that you remember something better if you write it than if you read it. With this in mind, I began summarizing whatever I read.
I’ll read a paragraph, page, or chapter, depending on how pungent I found it, I’ll summarize.
The highlights, quotes, stats, and facts, you would find everything written out in a book I kept close by as I read.
I hardly ever wrote verbatim. Instead, I rephrased everything in my own words. And I kept that book jealously.
The funny thing is I hardly ever go back to read what I wrote in my book of highlights. I probably only went through it once it was filled, and it took a long time to get filled.
This style of reading, plus the mess I felt I created each time I tried to highlight, was why I never got to marking or highlighting my Bible.
Another lovely feature of the You Version Bible is how highlights can be shared with friends.
I love this because it gives me an idea of what people around me are reading in the Bible. And almost as importantly, which version of the Bible they are reading it from.
Whenever I go through my timeline in the app, I am always startled by the number of highlights I see some people make.
Sometimes, I’m left wondering, if you spend this much time highlighting, how much time do you have left to read?
Then I remember that unlike the hardcopy of the Bible, this highlight doesn’t require scribbling back and forth. Oyinbo ti s’aye d’ero.
With just one click, your highlight is done.
If this was a hardcopy Bible, it would already be filled with ink. The soft copy remains as pristine, yet personalized as ever.
You also do not have to worry about “dog ears”.
I wish I could just change and start highlighting my Bible too. Unfortunately, I know I won’t change.
This time around, it is not a fear of defacing my Bible. Or phone.
This time around, it is the knowledge that I can always search for a keyword and find whatever verse I’m looking for in less than a minute.
Old habits die hard. Even with new technology, the man remains the same.
By the way, I intend to buy a color-coded hardcopy Bible version. My library deserves one.