Posted by: Katie | July 23, 2010

Ebooks and rereading

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’m a big rereader, especially when it comes to needing some comfort. As I was reading the sixth book in a series the other day (it came out on Tuesday), I got to thinking about ebooks and rereading. The rereading I’ve been doing the last couple of months have been of passages in books. With this series, if I wanted to go back and check something out in a previous book, I’d probably be out of luck as I only own it in electronic format. I brought this up in the class I co-taught on ebooks yesterday, and our third instructor said it perfectly: “you can’t find the place where the book falls open with ebooks.” Yes, I could bookmark and make a note. But how do I know there’s a particular passage I like rereading until I’ve read it three or four times through? With print books, I can quickly fan and scan to find my place. How can this behavior be replicated with ebooks? Is it even worth it to try? What about books/stories that are not likely to find their way into print? Other things I’m missing?

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Responses

  1. On the other hand, you can’t do a text search in a real book. 😛

    To be honest, I don’t re-read any specific section in books — when I re-read, I tend to read the whole thing, so the spine has constant wear. >.> (I sure hope the spine doesn’t get so damaged that it literally falls open, though. >.>) Doesn’t really help with finding stuff..

    It’s true that there’s no fan-and-scan (or what I call the ‘flip test’ when I decide whether I’m buying a book) with ebooks unless you don’t mind the dizzying effect of pages whooshing by in an ebook reader, but if you remember what you read about, or an unusual word/phrase in those paragraphs, you can do a search for it. Nothing really much else, I’d say..or you can go crazy with bookmarks, I guess? XD

  2. True about the text search 😀 I know this is something that’s by no means a universal problem, especially as I know many who do not reread at all. It just kind of hit me that I’m so used to being able to go in to where I remember the general place in the book and read the section. Part of it is the way my memory works, and part of it is for when I’m reading a series, I may want to just reacquaint myself with something referenced in the current book that happened in a previous book.


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