Non-Fiction Books and the Kindle

Me: For the first time since buying a Kindle for Marathon Girl, I’ve ordered hard copies of two books. They arrived— Question Man: Wait a minute. I thought you guys loved the Kindle. Why are you ordering hard copies of books now?

Me: We do love MG’s Kindle; so much so that we probably need a second one. Good thing Father’s Day is coming up next month. (Hint, hint, hint!) However, I have a hard time reading non-fiction books on the Kindle.

Question Man: Have a hard time reading them? Is there a formatting issue with the non-fiction books.

Me: No, it’s not a formatting issue. When I read non-fiction (with the exception of memoirs) I’m a prolific note taker. I underline a lot of passages, make tons of notes in the margins, and use my own shorthand for cross referencing purposes.

Question Man: Did you know you can highlight passages, take notes, and mark up Kindle eBooks just about any way you want?

Me: Yes, I know. The problem is that it takes considerably more time for me to take notes with the Kindle—at least twice as long if I had the paper book and pencil in my hand. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I was just highlighting a handful of passages or only had a few notes. However, my note taking gets pretty extensive. Hence the reason I ordered hard copies.

Question Man: Well why don’t you download a Kindle app for your computer and highlight and take notes at lightning speed?

Me: I have downloaded the Kindle App on my PC. It’s way faster to highlight and take notes. The problem is I stare at a computer screen all day for work plus the hour or two I squeeze in for writing. By the time I get around to reading, my eyes don’t want to stare at a backlit screen anymore. They need a break.

Question Man: So what’s your solution?

Me: Well, a second Kindle would help. (Hint, hint, hint!) That would give me more time to practice highlighting and note taking. But for now I’m sticking with paperbacks—at least for non-fiction. That means Story Engineering and Cool IT will reside in paperback on my shelf for now. Fiction however will always find a home on my Kindle. Hopefully I can find a solution before I need to buy another non-fiction book.

Question Man: Will you let us know if you find a solution?

Me: You bet. And if anyone out there has any tips, please let me know.