September is “read a new book” month. Do you have a book in mind for the occasion? I keep a running list of books I want to read. I just need to find more time to read! Based on a survey published by Pew Research Center, 24% of American adults say they haven’t read a book in the past year. That statistic makes me sad. There is so much to learn in the pages of books; so much to escape with; so much to be inspired by. And, today it is easier than ever to enjoy a good book.
Bound pages, though still the most popular mode of reading according to Pew, are just one option. Many books can be found in audio and electronic (e-book) formats. E-books have the benefit of being uber portable. You have your phone, you’ve got your book. You can pop into it while waiting at the doctor’s office, riding public transportation, sitting parked in carpool line, relaxing on a public bench, etc.
A few years ago, some speculated e-books would take over bound publishing. But, as of late, it seems the trend has plateaued. This may be, in part, due to e-book publishers raising the price of their books perhaps too quickly and too steeply. But, I also believe many are unsure of how to use tools that are readily available to highlight and book mark passages in e-books, something so many of us like to do when digesting our literature. So, to broaden your “read a new book” month options, I thought I’d share a little “how-to” today to inspire you to go purchase an e-book.
The E-book How-To
You’re into a great read on your e-reader. You come across information you know you’ll want to revisit. How do you save that quote, and note where you discovered it? Or, perhaps you come to a table or list you want to print? There is no physical page to (gasp!) dog ear. In virtually all e-read platforms, Google Read, Kindle, iBooks, etc., you’ll find a menu that includes bookmarks and notes sections; this is where any notes or highlights you make are stored.
So, how do you capture those notes and quotes in your e-book? How do you get them to the bookmarks or notes section? Once you highlight text within the page you want to save or bookmark, you’ll be given the choice to copy, highlight or note the text. Make your choice. Once you have the information in, say, your notes page, you can export the data to Evernote, Excel or wherever you like.
Tools to Try
Excel is a great way to capture and organize large amounts of information for projects like the authoring of a book or dissertation. Data can be logged and sorted by author, subject matter, etc. Alternatively, you might find having an Evernote notebook for your favorite book quotes is best for your retrieval. Depending on your use or need, you might want to designate an entire Evernote notebook to an e-book. Did you know that Evernote has pre-loaded literature-related templates you might find helpful? These include a book club template and numerous writing tool templates including a story writing premise worksheet and a chapter outline form.
Need a little more inspiration? Harry Potter author J.K Rowling once said, “I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” And, Mr. Walt Disney once shared, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” I encourage you to jump on the “read a new book” month bandwagon, and why not try going electronic? Don’t be deterred by the inability to use your physical highlighter. Leave that at home! You’ve got your notes and bookmark sections waiting for you!