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Old 06-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
nekokami
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Exploration of the use of ebooks in literary interpretation

I wrote a paper last month for a graduate class in education about the use of ebooks and related technologies in reading literature, including the processes of annotation, interpretation, and community sharing described by Dennis Sumara in Why Reading Literature in School Still Matters. I've mentioned this paper a few times in some threads here, and I was asked for more info, so I've just put the whole thing up on my CV website: http://gaeabooks.com/dalton - click on "Publications & Documents". Or download it directly: http://gaeacoop.org/dalton/publicati...May_Matter.pdf

It's not short, but I like to think it's pretty accessible. Mobileread gets a mention on p. 22.

Comments welcome. The course is over and the paper has been handed in, but the ideas, if they have merit, may be worth discussing here. I'd be quite interested to know what others think.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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thanks neko-chan ! i can't promise i'll read it right away but i've downloaded it and it's on my list (but, is there any chance of getting it in a more fishy format ?? )... i suppose we can download your other publications as well ? quite a few of those titles looked quite intriguing to me...
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
thanks neko-chan ! i can't promise i'll read it right away but i've downloaded it and it's on my list (but, is there any chance of getting it in a more fishy format ?? )... i suppose we can download your other publications as well ? quite a few of those titles looked quite intriguing to me...
Which fishy format would you like? (We're talking about son-pois, right?) I don't normally deal with mobi and the like, but you can have it in HTML if you want. I expect pdftohtml would work fine on these files, if you don't feel like waiting for me to convert them.

Sure, download any of them. Have a ball. I'm amazed anyone wants to read them.

The book about Chinese language games isn't on the site, though. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't talk my publisher into going with any kind of ebook format. The best I can do there is to provide a Word file without illustrations (as I don't own the rights to those), and I should probably be careful about how I distribute it, though I believe I retained the rights to electronic versions.... Hm, I should check my contract. It might be worth my while to put a version of the whole text up. I wrote that to try to influence the profession of language teaching, after all, not for the paltry sum I was paid.
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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yes, son-pois, exactly. html would be brilliant. i'll send you a pm with my mail address. but first i will take a look at htmltopdf and see how that works (i don't know that tool ! thanks ! i think it could be very useful, not just for your paper...).

you definitely should try to get the book about Chinese games on the site. it sounds quite interesting as well, and you know you can't be very influential if no-one can *read* it.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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Here's an HTML version of the above paper, with a zipped folder of images (mostly just pix of son-pois, but the professor I was writing this for didn't know much about them, so I thought I'd provide a bit of description).

Again, comments welcome....
Attached Files
File Type: zip How_Reading_eBooks_May_Matter.zip (1.03 MB, 283 views)
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:09 PM   #6
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thanks nekokami ! you saved me the trouble...

i must spread some karma around before giving it to you again, but know that the intention was there.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
thanks nekokami ! you saved me the trouble...

i must spread some karma around before giving it to you again, but know that the intention was there.
Ill throw some out there as well. I have learned a lot in the month or so that I've been on here. I have not read the whole paper yet, but it is very nicely prepared and well thought out.
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:21 AM   #8
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Thanks.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:22 PM   #9
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I too, will add to the generous comments applauding this work. I, as a rule, tend not to read this kind of work, but I surprised myself by quite enjoying it.
It feel it is a great shame that I was never told 'how to read' a book - in the sense of annotating...and as such have developed a kind of repulsion to the sight of 'writing in the margins' etc as in some way 'spoiling' the printed page...I have never analysed any book in the sense that I seem to understand you are suggesting and I can, in some ways relate to the description of being 'rigid in personality'.

I was enlightened by the allergy issue of printed books - but the smell of a good library is often quite evocative.

Many thanks for the opportunity to read your dissertion...

Geoff
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #10
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Thanks, Geoff. I found the paper interesting to write, so it pleases me that anyone finds it interesting to read.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:43 AM   #11
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I'll definitely be reading, and thank you ahead of time for offering it up for us.

I've never gotten into the practice of annotating books, for me it was always a pad and pen along side. The first time I ever saw anyone doing this, it was a boyfriend (if you can call it that, he was my first older boyfriend, lol... 7 years older and it felt like being around dad ;p) Anyway... enough of my weirdness! He loaned a few sci-fi books and as I was reading, I found all of these little notes and symbols I didn't know What that was about! He even had notes on the inside back cover with a chart to explain the symbols...

Truthfully, then, I thought it must be an old man kind of thing :P hehe, now I know better, and I know some folks like to annotate their books, but back then... oi, the drama! (like, OMG, you WROTE in your book! )

and yes, it must definitely be time for bed if I'm going on and on again
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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I thought I'd summarize my suggestions (hardware and software) for improving the ability of ebook readers to support literary engagement as a focal practice, on the theory that posting them here might generate more comments than expecting people to download, unzip, and read the whole article....

Basic reading features
- Dictionary/encyclopedia lookup functions (including translation dictionaries)
- search texts for use of specific term or name - within or across texts
- create index or concordance of specific terms, names, etc.
- Create own definitions for terms that could be linked to all future occurences of terms (even in other books?)
- Mark quotations for extract to other documents
- Dependable access to text (including notations, reading records, etc.) across platforms, time
- Adjust font sizes and faces for readability and comfort
- Track the number of times a reader has read through a text (in percentages, or even visits per page) - not to report, but for the reader to access
- In particular, maintain current page per reader, per book
- Access multiple texts at once (split window or easy switching)

Annotation Support
- digital ink (i.e. stylus input, whether or not converted to text)
- Text input, e.g. physical or virtual keyboard
- Easily locate annotations
- Allow for "layers" of annotation, by time (e.g. first read, second read, date-tag annotations), indicate visually, e.g. by color or font face
- Allow for merging of annotations by different readers, with options to differentiate via color, font face, etc.
- Hide or display "layers" of annotations
- Oral dictation of annotations - convert to text or record as sound
- Include other "scrapbook" elements as annotations, e.g. digital images, music, spoken text, stylus drawings, etc.

Categories and Tags
- Equivalent of different colored bookmarks, possibly with annotations of their own
- Support assigning one or more tags (preferably "free tags") to any annotation (or a bookmark with no annotation)
- Choice of bookmark symbols displayed in text per tag
- Collate annotations by date, by tag, by reader, etc., including across multiple texts to build topical concordance
- If internet access is also provided, tagging and concordance may include URLs (see Zotero)
- Synchronization between reading devices

Community Tools
- Ability to publish own annotations to a group server (see DotReader)
- Distinction between private, group, and public annotations
- Subscribe to annotations within groups, within larger online community (e.g. social networking, degrees of friendship, etc.)
- Indicate source type with annotation
- Ability to add/invite "friend" on basis of annotation
- Ability to publish reading list/favorites to all, to groups, to friends, etc.
- Online discussions attached to/organized around books and portions of books
- Annotations might be published in "blog" form with link back to relevant segment of text
- Automatic update of social networking site "current favorites" e.g. "currently reading" with all open books
- Tag clouds of multiple readers per book
- Meet-Up style in-person meeting facilitation organized around books, authors, annotation tags, etc.
- Short range "mesh network" communication (e.g. Cybiko, OLPC) - option to broadcast current book, favorites, option to receive notices of other readers within range, especially those currently reading or having recently read the same book, chat, annotation swap option
- "One Book" project groups

Comments?
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