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Do You Read the Notes In Nonfiction Books?

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SonjaMarie
Bibliomaniac
Location: Vashon, WA
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Postby 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
Bibliophile
Location: Maryland

Postby 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
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby 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
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby 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
Avid Reader
Location: Northern California

Notes are a great resource.

Postby 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.
Julianne Douglas

Writing the Renaissance

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JaneConsumer
Reader
Location: U.S.
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Postby 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
Avid Reader
Location: Northern California

Postby 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!
Julianne Douglas



Writing the Renaissance

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Catherine Delors
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Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
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Postby 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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Volgadon
Compulsive Reader
Location: Israel
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Postby 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
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby 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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