This is part of an ongoing series related to Peter Meyers' project "Breaking the Page, Saving the Reader: A Buyer & Builder's Guide to Digital Books." We'll be featuring additional material in the weeks ahead. (Note: This post originally appeared on A New Kind of Book. It's republished with permission.)
Is anyone happy with today's ebook note-taking tools? I'm talking about what you get with Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and so on. You can highlight passages and add notes, but that's pretty much where things start and stop.
Think about how limited that is, compared to what you can do in a print book:
- Jot notes anywhere you like (e.g. blank pages in the back) to keep track of your overall reaction to the book.
- Highlight non-contiguous phrases on a page, editing out all the boring bits and spotlighting the author's best points.
- Draw arrows, circles, and all manner of geometric curlicues, reminding you of how this section here relates to that point over there.
- Construct simple diagrams (e.g. tree-like structures), if you're the type who likes to think about ideas in terms of hierarchies.
- Easily review all this stuff by flipping through the pages of a book.
None of that's possible on any mainstream ebook ...