This was my second time using the Kindle for academic work and I found it immeasurably useful. I already have a copy of Neuromancer but it is pretty much on permanent loan to different friends as I am keen for people to read it. So instead I got myself a copy on the Kindle. All my other source novels were in paperback which gave me a chance to compare working with the different mediums. I've used the Kindle for an essay before, when I wrote about Gibson's Zero History. Why yes, I do like William Gibson's writing, how did you guess? Fortunately, since when I last used a Kindle to reference with, Amazon have added page numbers as well as locations, so my supervisor can find the quotes in a printed version.
The main benefit of the Kindle is the highlighting and copy/pasting of notes without having to copy them out by hand. Saves time and increases accuracy. Secondly, the search feature allows me to find lines that I only vaguely remember; so long as you can recall one or two words (and if they are unusual words then you only need one) you can find the quote. And while I was doing this I kept on finding interesting references elsewhere in the novel that were about the same thing and used the same words. I even used the search feature to compare how many times Gibson referred to either 'cyberspace' or the 'matrix' and was surprised to find how much more frequent the matrix is - not something I noticed when reading the book. I suspect that academics are really going to get into these kind of features when ebooks become more commonplace on courses.
|The Brazilian cover - far better.|
On the more important topic of my disseration: all in all it was quite fun to write though a bit of a drag towards the end when I'd been rewriting it for almost a week solid. Started to come up with sentences for my conclusion when I was asleep and dreaming. My favourite bit of the dissertation? - checking the quotes and bibliography while watching The Never Ending Story. If I am going to follow a bibliography format (MLA this time) then it might as well be done properly. And by properly I mean right down to the placing of commas. Punctuation dictator. My least favourite bit of the dissertation? - not being able to find a book that I needed to reference for an important chapter. Consequently turning my entire bedroom upside down to look for it - even moving furniture - to discover that actually it was on the bookshelf by the door all along. Stressful, time consuming, and messy. Lesson learned: keep all of your books in one box, not all except one.