Getting to Know Your Books
Logos Bible Software Series X offers users a tremendous opportunity to build a large library of electronic resources at a fraction of what it would cost to build such a library in print. There are several ways for one to get to know the content in a Logos Bible Software Series X Library. This article will cover these methods as well as suggest additional methodology by which to examine a book, to become familiar with its content so that the scope of one's library is better known.
Book of the Day
Most folks probably think the Book of the Day feature in the Logos Bible Software Series X home page is marketing driven. That is, some may think that the book described in the Book of the Day feature is a book that may be purchased and unlocked for a special price on the day it is offered.
However, the Book of the Day is actually a book that you already own and already have access to from within your Logos Bible Software. The Book of the Day feature displays a thumbnail graphic of the book's cover (if available) and also a short description of the book. You can read this description and get a better idea of what this title is about.
The book featured in Book of the Day changes every day. So you can use this section of the home page to become familiar with new books, or to be reminded of a friendly older book that you may have forgotten about. Simply knowing the titles, authors, and some basic subjects covered in your library goes a long way to making your library more useable. Then, when a topic comes up, you are more likely to think, "Hey, I've got a book on that topic! I wonder what it says?" In this way, you can more fully utilize your library in your studies. And it all starts with getting to know your library using the Book of the Day feature.
The Bibliography report (Tools | Library Management | Bibliography) is a versatile report. Sure, one may use it to create a bibliography based on a collection of
books for inclusion in a school paper or scholarly article. But there are other uses.
The Bibliography report runs off of a resource collection. One could therefore create a collection of available resources that one is unfamiliar with (Tools | Define Collections; the Libronix DLS help file explains how to create a collection of resources). Call the collection "Resources to Review." Once this collection is created, then the Bibliography report can be used to browse more information about the resources in the collection. The Bibliography Report offers several Style options (the second drop-down list). Perhaps most helpful is the Catalog Style (With Covers) option, though the Titles and Locations option may be of some interest as well.
From either the Book of the Day or the Bibliography report, one simply has to click on the title of the book in order to open the book. Once the book is open, there are a few ways to evaluate the content and nature of the book.
About This Resource
Once the book in question is open, simply click somewhere inside of the book. This is just to ensure that the book window is the active window. Then go to Help | About This Resource. This report contains information about the book, including bibliographic information and the same cover shot and description that was seen in Book
of the Day on the Logos Series X home page. This window also provides a link to more information about the producer of the book in the Electronic Edition section. The Data Types section provides information on the different methods one may use to navigate the book. This is how you can find out if the book has page numbers embedded in it, if it is navigable by Bible verse (as many commentaries are), and so on.
Resource Table of Contents
Returning to the book window, you'll see a toolbar within the book window. On the far right of this window are two buttons. If you hover your mouse cursor over the buttons, tooltips will show. One is the Toggle Contents Pane button, the other is the Toggle Locator Pane button.
Click the Toggle Contents Pane button. You should see the left side of the book window expand. This expanded section of the book window is called the Contents Pane. This allows you to examine the book by looking at its structure and navigating through the book with a sort of "Table of Contents". Note that the vertical bar (a "splitter" bar) separating the Contents Pane from the Resource Window is customizeable. If you grab it with your mouse cursor, you may expand it to the right, thus making the Contents Pane larger. You may want to do this as you examine the Table of Contents to become familiar with the book.
If you click on the + symbol to the left of the red book icon(s) in the Contents Pane, the entry will expand. Anywhere a + symbol occurs in the Contents Pane may be clicked to expand and get an idea of the content of the book. This allows evaluation of the book in two ways. First, by examining the information in the Contents Pane, you get an idea of the scope of what is covered. Second, by examining all of the different contents levels you get an idea of the depth in which the book covers the subject(s) at hand.
Other Relevant Information
At this point, you should have a fairly decent idea of the basic subject(s) of the book, the scope of the subjects discussed, and the depth in which the subjects are examined.
From here, one may resort to more traditional methodology to examine a book — perhaps reading the preface or foreword if the book has such information.
By spending just a few additional minutes examining a book's table of contents by using the Contents Pane and by examining additional information in the About Resource dialog, you have become much more familiar with one of the titles in your Logos Bible Software Series X library. Now, the next time you start a new study, you may just be thinking, "Yeah, I think I've got a book that deals with that!"