Monday, June 3, 2013

One Benefit of Reading with a Kindle

I've discovered one definite benefit to reading with a Kindle, thanks to my friend Barbara who lent me hers so I could read a bit of a book she felt I would like. I did like it (Meike Winnemuth's memoir Das Grosse Los about using the half million euros she won in a contest to spend 12 months living in 12 different cities around the world), but I also liked the fact that the Kindle forced me to immediately write down whatever phrases I would have otherwise underlined with the pencil I always have at the ready when I'm reading. I also couldn't dog ear a page like I usually would to mark a page I want to come back to. The problem with the underlining and the dog-earing is that typically, I never actually go back and copy down those phrases I found insightful, or the prose I loved. But with the Kindle, I did so immediately! This might be due to my ignorance of actually using all the capabilities of the device (I was happy I mastered paging back and forth...) but for now it is a great thing because I've got those phrases in my notebook.

My favorite quote from what I read so far in Winnemuth's Das Grosse Los (no English translation yet, sorry): "Do what you like, and while doing that, you will meet people you like" (my translation). That's something to ponder, isn't it?

5 comments:

  1. I like my e-reader for travel, but not for books I would want to keep, fill with marginalia, or use for research. If I have to take those notes like you did, then I'd have to keep track of the notes. I'm so tied to the physical book that I've developed a kind of muscle memory that helps me know that a quotation I want to use is on the left side of the page, near the front of the book, at the bottom. I use the highlighting feature but I hate how hard it is to locate a passage I didn't hightlight.

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    1. Julie - the kind of memory you're referring to is called eidetic, namely the ability to recall visually where something is located. I am the same way - I will remember where on a page and in which part of a book a passage was, and not having that in an e-reader would probably irk me. I must say I'm also missing the soul that a physical book brings with it, just by the way it looks and feels.

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  2. I didn't think I would like using Kindle, but was eventually forced to because the kindle versions are cheaper - I live in the Philippines and shipping costs a lot. I love the highlighting feature because you can go back and review your highlights and notes and there's a list and you can choose the ones you want to re-read. After reading your post, I'm considering writing down the lines I want to highlight when I read books.

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    1. Rosanna - great point: with a Kindle it's more cost effective to obtain "foreign" language books. I am pondering whether I should get one to make it easier and less expensive for me to get ahold of German books.

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  3. I really do have to get my hands on an ereader. There are so many books I've got to get, and the ereader makes them convenient.

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