14 April 2014

The eMerging eReader #6: Organizing, Reviewing, Remembering

The eMerging eReader © www.BethFishReads.comSo far in the eMerging eReader series, I've gone over devices, software, apps, and eReading in general. In today's installment, I address getting organized, reading for reviewing, and remembering to read my eBooks.

Getting organized. As you know by now, my not-so-secret weapon for organization is Calibre. A key factor for my becoming an eMerging eReader was having a single location for all my books. Because Calibre lets me sort my books by several factors (publication date, due date at library, freelance assignment, genre, and so on), it's dead simple for me to find my next read.

This may be controversial, but once I finish reading an eBook, I delete it from my computer and device. If I bought the book, it will backed up and thus retrievable. If it's an eGalley, I'll buy a finished copy if I want to reread it. If it's a library book, then I don't own it and thus must remove it from my devices. One of bonuses of eBooks is less clutter, and that includes less electronic clutter.

Reading for review. As I mentioned earlier, my focus and enjoyment of eBooks has steadily increased, especially when reading for pleasure. I had a more difficult time adjusting to reading eBooks for freelance reviews or for more in-depth reviews on my blog. I'm a sticky note junky and felt completely lost when I couldn't flag pages and jot down quick thoughts on colorful tabs.

Fortunately, bookmarking pages in eBooks is as simple as a tap and is, in fact, easier than grabbing a physical marker. Although it took some getting used to, I can now also highlight passages in eBooks without a thought. (I used to struggle with remembering the long press; I have no idea why.) The most difficult transition for me has been training myself to type notes right on my devices (both Kobo and Bluefire have this feature) instead of writing on a sticky note. I'm beginning to develop a good rhythm, though, and I bet I come to rely on this.

When I sit down to write my review, it's really nice to see all my highlighted passages and notes in one accessible list, and viewing a bookmarked page is as easy as a tap. One thing I really love is taking advantage of the search function to check spellings and facts; so much easier than skimming a print book.

Remembering to read. I used to collect eBooks and then just let them sit (in Calibre!). It was puzzling to me because I never forget to listen to an audiobook, even though almost all my audios are digital. Then it struck me. I have triggers that tell me to pick up my audiobook. In the evening when I walk or cook, I turn on the mp3 player (phone, whatever) and plug in the earbuds. It's a long-time habit.

With that insight, I declared eBooks as daytime reading. On working days, they're what I read at lunchtime, when waiting for an appointment or phone call, or when I need a break from editing. In this way, I never forget about my eBooks. I still read print in the evenings, and on days off of work I usually turn first to the book I'm most interested in, regardless of the medium. I'm not sure what my habits will be in the long run, but before I developed a trigger, I almost never picked up an eBook.

Next up: getting social and nagging issues.


JoAnn 4/14/14, 8:23 AM  

The transition to making notes on a device has been very difficult for me... I still struggle with that one!

grammajudyb 4/14/14, 9:04 AM  

Thanks for your thoughts on the ereader. I am new to ebooks as well and still am not comfortable with audible versions. It may be the earbuds that make me uncomfortable and I am yet unfamiliar how to load a book on my iPod. I know I don't like listening while "hoooked" up to my kindle, too heavy. "sigh", I will slowly get there. So hard to teach an old dog, a new trick!!

Beth Hoffman 4/14/14, 9:38 AM  

I love this series! You've compiled a treasure chest of valuable e-book info. I so agree with you about the ease of the bookmarks and highlight features. No more sticky notes for me!

Unknown 4/14/14, 11:29 AM  

I still don't use my note function as much in e books, something to work on. Lately my e book reading has been books for review, and I love how they have end dates and I know I need to read or lose them. I'm awful about bargain e books I purchase, I've got tons...ugh. It's similar to my book stacks, only virtual. I need better habits for reading my older books.
Great series continues...thanks.

Daryl 4/14/14, 12:27 PM  

fascinating stuff ... if i were doing the work you are, i would be using these ... i am all for being organized, i am a project manager!

Kailana 4/15/14, 1:06 PM  

I do really well with e-books for a month or two and then they become 'out of sight/out of mind'. I think I am doing a bit better lately because I am mostly only accepting e-copies of review books. But, we will see!

Meghan 4/15/14, 4:24 PM  

Choosing to read ebooks is the challenge for me sometimes, too. Physical books are so often in my face that I forget about the virtual TBR pile! I like how you've segmented out time for the different types of reading. I might try that.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) 4/16/14, 8:04 AM  

I kind of wish I'd waited and got an Aura, reading this! It sounds so much faster than the Glo (making notes on that take forever). I like your method for remembering ebooks. They are all too easy to forget about, so plotting time for each format sounds a great idea.

Heidenkind 4/16/14, 11:16 PM  

The trigger you mention is a great point. I tend to go through audiobooks pretty fast because I'm in the habit of listening to them at certain times of day. I try to do that with print books, too, only sometimes it's impossible to find the time!

Margot 4/16/14, 11:51 PM  

I've really enjoyed this series and have learned from it. So, thanks.

Vasilly 4/17/14, 10:35 PM  

I'm constantly forgetting about my e-galleys. I think I need to find a trigger to remind me to read from my Nook. Thanks for mentioning Calibre. I started using it today to help with some of my ebook problems. I'm really enjoying this series.

Melissa (Avid Reader) 4/18/14, 10:13 AM  

I don't delete books when I finish them on my e-reader, but I do move them from the genre folder I have them in (classics, YA, sci-fi, etc) to a folder called Completed. It has worked well for me so far, because I don't have to weed through those when I'm deciding what to read next. I love these e-reader posts by the way!

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