Thanks (or Maybe Not) for the E-Book Memories

I saw this article a while ago,and was at first tempted to dismiss it as another one of those studies that just show things are changing (I mean, things do change – that’s not exactly new). But then I kept thinking about it as I used my e-reader, and I realized that
maybe there is something to this.

I recently used my Nook Color to read one of my Library’s Book Club* books, and since I was the one leading the discussion, I needed to take notes and highlight. I found that using my Nook to do this really frustrated me. It’s not that it was too difficult, but if I didn’t highlight correctly, it took a minute or so to undo and then fix it. Adding notes wasn’t that hard either, but locating those notes afterwards is not exactly instant.

As the article mentions, some people (like me, apparently) remember things in a physical book in a spatial way. I will remember a note or a highlight based on where I was – say, a half an inch from the end. Or, I’ll draw a frowny face near a quote that emphasizes an evil character. It’s not easy** to do that with an e-reader. So, as much as I love using my Nook for reading and other things, I doubt I’ll use it again for notes for Book Club.

Which brings me back to why I thought this article would be interesting for SPLAT. Do you think that students today who use electronic texts are adapting better than some of the digital immigrants? How does this play into our e-book collection development? Or, am I just too Old School with my yellow highlighter pen and post-its?

* First rule of Book Club is to talk about Book Club. Sorry – I couldn’t resist…

** Well, at least not easily removed, anyway, especially if you’re fond of Sharpies.