Digitized Lewis

C.S. Lewis wrote many books in a wide variety of subjects. Sadly, some people are only familiar with his material defending the Christian faith and others focus on his Narnia stories or just the fact that he wrote content related to his profession. What if you wanted to collect all his titles and have the ability to easily browse through all the works and even have the capacity to search them?Unfortunately no perfect collection exist, yet the closest thing to it is now available. Recently Logos Bible Software released The C.S. Lewis Collection that gathers thirty titles enabling you to enjoy just about everything Lewis wrote. For a complete list of titles visit the product page from Logos.

Most noticeably missing from the list is a classic, The Chronicles of Narnia, which is available in eBook elsewhere. There are also at least ten other titles absent from this almost comprehensive collection, including Surprised by Joy, The Four Loves and Reflections on the Psalms.

With those negatives out of the way, let’s focus on what to love about this collection. You have the power of the Logos Bible Software system behind you to do incredible things not possible even if you owned each of the books as a standalone title elsewhere.

The number one aspect that made me excited about getting a copy of The C.S. Lewis Collection is the ability to search across books all at once. I can look for a word, phrase or entire quote in all thirty books in the collection to locate exactly what Lewis wrote and know where it is from. I remember someone asking me about a Lewis quotation years ago that they knew just had to be in Mere Christianity, but the material turned out to be in the essay “The Weight of Glory.” Also, around the same time I was trying to locate a passage I was certain was from The Screwtape Letters, but after a long time searching I realized it wasn’t and eventually found it in The Great Divorce. In each example it took me a long time to track down what was needed. If I had The C.S. Lewis Collection then my task would have taken only a few minutes (if that long).

It’s hard to describe my love for highlighting text. I’ve enjoyed the ability to emphasize passages in my other eBooks, but frankly it is so limiting. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have power to highlight in more ways than I could ever possibly want. If you have never used Logos Bible Software before than it is difficult to imagine. There are nine colors for traditional highlighting. Plus there are twenty-six more ways to emphasize the text, including, Bold Text, Box, Double Underline and Shadow. You can even combine the various styles. Additionally, you can also add the Inductive Bible Study markups to the text! It is easy to erase your highlights and also change only a few words within a highlight to a different emphasis.

Another feature that you don’t have anywhere else is the ability to quickly see the text of a Bible reference made by Lewis. For example in the first chapter of The Problem of Pain there is a reference to Psalm 11:7. While he quotes a few words from this passage, Logos enables you to preview the actual verse with a click on the footnote and moving your mouse over the reference. An additional click will open a window with the Bible passage or move to it if you already had a second window open.

Is this a resource for you? That’s a difficult question to answer. I’ve seen some state they wouldn’t buy it without the Narnia books and other say it cost too much. Those factors are clearly aspects to consider depending on what you want. As already mentioned, there are other titles not included, but a plus for many is the fact that the recent book Image and Imagination: Essays and Reviews is included. Then finally, it is worth noting that five titles could be consider questionable when counting how many books are included. Letters to an American Lady contains correspondence included within the three volumes of Collected Letters. Also, Yours, Jack is somewhat of a “best of” letters that are also in that collection. However, for both of these, many will find it insightful to read them in each of their own books. The three other works contain “best of” material as well. One, A Year with Aslan is the only content from Narnia, but this almost becomes frustrating because it leaves you wanting to read the original works. The other two gives you tastes of Lewis’s material, but you can find just about all of them in the rest of the collection to gain further context.