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Entries in Luddite-ness (1)

Friday
Feb032012

A post in which I suspect I am a dinosaur

And I don't mean this one.

I have a Kindle.  I quite like it.  I actually overcame my  Luddite tendencies to buy one so that I could read two things:  an e-book by Carl Trueman and my friend Staci's book The Organized Heart.  Subsequent to those purchases, I found that reading fiction with a Kindle is actually really good because you can't flip to the back of the book as easily.  And yes, the overcrowded bookshelves in my living room made it attractive.  My mother, not a reader, commented with a wrinkled nose the last time she was here:  "It's like living in a library."  Yes, mother, that is the idea.

While I enjoy my Kindle, I find that for non-fiction books which I like to study, it doesn't work well for me, and I wonder if this is a function of my age.  I will, after all, be forty-mumble-mumble in a couple of weeks.  The thing missing from the Kindle is MARGINS.  Yes, you can underline and there is a place to keep clippings, but I suspect that I am too visual to appreciate them.  I like to see where the notations are.

A while back, I began reading How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth on my Kindle.  It meant taking notes because I wanted to study, not just read, and sorry, but for me, studying means writing it down.  If that means that I'm lacking something, well, so be it.   I certainly didn't write down everything, but I jotted down notes.  Well, I'm back at it again, and I'm trying to remember where something is in that book.  Of course it's one of the things I didn't underline.  In other books, I will often remember where something is based on where I saw it and how I noted it in the margin.   Case in point, I was looking through a book yesterday and I found the place where I wanted to be because I remember that I put a square bracket around it, and that the note was made in the right side of the page, in the margin, at the bottom.  My visual-ness is clearly an issue when it comes to things like the Kindle.  As an aside, I ordered the paperback of said book.  The Canadian Amazon is wonderful when things are in stock.

I imagine that this is also a function of how I learned as a child.  Now that we have devices such as the iPad and the Kindle, I'm sure education will incorporate those, and the students may learn to be less dependent on where something is in the margin.  I don't know if I have a learning curve that can adapt to that.  I have a brain that is not a spring chicken any longer.  I'm learning how to use Photoshop; I don't know if it can take anymore.

That being said, I think the Kindle would benefit from being re-designed to have margins, and we should be able to put notations in the margin on the screen.  Surely, someone can figure out how to do that.