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Do You Read the Notes In Nonfiction Books?

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Mon September 8th, 2008, 4:45 pm

That's why I always scan the notes for the chapter to find one with actual info and remember what number it is.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Mon September 8th, 2008, 11:39 pm

I'll finish a chapter and then turn to the 'Notes' section when I finish that chapter.

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Spitfire
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Post by Spitfire » Tue September 9th, 2008, 12:13 am

I actually like to read the notes first, before I read the book. So that when I come upon the word or term, I understand what is going on.
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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Tue September 9th, 2008, 1:19 am

I do read the notes, and I greatly prefer footnotes. Sometimes all the really interesting stuff is in a note - but often it's just a page reference. I hate interrupting my train of thought while I'm reading to hunt for a note if there's nothing interesting there. But I'm always afraid I'll miss something really juicy by not looking!

If an author does do endnotes rather than footnotes, it's a huge help if the pages where the endnotes are listed include notations at the top showing what page numbers the notes belong with. It's also a huge help if the numbering doesn't start over at "1" with every new chapter. It drives me nuts hunting through the notes pages to find the note I want.
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Julianne Douglas
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Notes are a great resource.

Post by Julianne Douglas » Tue September 9th, 2008, 9:16 pm

I always read the notes, especially if I'm doing research, because notes always alert me to other books and sources of information that I can pursue. Reading notes helps me find more information that is especially pertinent to what I am studying.
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JaneConsumer
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Post by JaneConsumer » Tue September 9th, 2008, 11:15 pm

I usually read the notes whether I'm reading for pleasure or for research. But then I read everything, including the copyright, dedication, acknowledgments and author bio. You never know what you'll learn. :rolleyes: Like Gabaldon has a Ph.D in ecology and an MS in marine biology. Or like the author of Shantaram did time in prison for bank robbery.

But like the majority here, I prefer footnotes. They don't break the flow of my reading as much as endnotes do.

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Julianne Douglas
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Post by Julianne Douglas » Wed September 10th, 2008, 3:23 pm

JaneConsumer, I have a discussion on author bios going on right now over at my blog. Michelle Moran's been kind enough to give us some insights into hers!
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Catherine Delors
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Post by Catherine Delors » Wed September 10th, 2008, 4:30 pm

I second JaneConsumer: endnotes are maddening, they break the flow of reading!

Yet I always pay attention to them. I am reading Amanda Foreman's bio of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and was wondering whether what AF writes about the "friendship" between Marie-Antoinette and Georgiana was supported by her research. Maybe newly discovered documents, unpublished letters between the two ladies, something exciting. So I went through the endnotes for this chapter really carefully. Well, no, nothing new there. :(

The reference to Marie-Antoinette may be a posthumous form of name-dropping.

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Post by Volgadon » Thu September 11th, 2008, 1:00 pm

I always read the notes, very valuable. Whether footnotes or endnotes, each has plusses and minuses. Footnotes are easier on the flow, but it's easier to find what you are looking for when it's an endnote.

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Thu September 11th, 2008, 8:18 pm

I do read notes because they are part of the entire publication and serve an important supplemental purpose. If the information in the note warrants multiple references throughout the text, then it's more helpful to place them at the end in an easily referenced order. If the note is to support text only on a couple pages in order, then I'd prefer a footnote for ease of reference.

So, I'd like to have a mix of foots and ends.

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