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A question about e-readers and Kindles and Nooks (oh my!)

I’ve been reading a book called Writing Space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print (2nd ed.) by one Jay David Bolter. It’s about the Internet and how it relates to what we have known as reading and writing. It’s fairly interesting, although a bit jargony and academic-sounding. (What can you expect?)

One part got me thinking. This book says one of the Internet’s major advantages is the ability to hyperlink, like this. So, since e-readers, Kindles, and Nooks are all digital “reading spaces” (shall we say), do they let you create your own links? For example, if I read some particularly fascinating sentence in GKC’s Orthodoxy, and then later I’m reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and I notice that Lewis addresses the same issue, can I tell the e-reader to make its own little link between the two books?

Providing, that is, that I have the time and inclination to go back to the first book (Orthodoxy in this instance) and find the part I’m remembering… but considering that e-readers in general had better have searches built into them (that’s a given!), it shouldn’t be that hard.

I already know that Kindles will let you write notes in the “margin” (as digital as it is) and you can highlight and such—but that’s basically duplicating what can already be done in a real book with no greater trouble. If these things could let me make little links, that would be a real accomplishment.

And for all I know, that’s already done. But I’m still curious.


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