But, when it comes to bookish analysis, I’ve discovered that my iPad’s Kindle app better fills my cavernous “how’d they do that?” need than traditional tree-based books.
Here’s my approach— your mileage may vary:
Within the Kindle app I highlight key text in blue, orange, pink, or yellow (which doesn’t show up on white.) Then, I finger-type comments like “cool phrase” or “the protagonist’s inner conflict is revealed!” Later, in “My Notebook,” I review the color-coded entries for just the right quote to make my scholarly point. This highlighted peek into the future is from the New York Times and Washington Post bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: “Two dour-faced men met them at the door holding Kalashnikovs, one three weeks from killing the other in an argument that would begin over driving directions.”
Kindle’s X-ray offers character bios and Wikipedia definitions filtered by page, chapter or for the entire book. Touch a word to see every place it appears in the text. Along side, a sweet timeline displays where and how often the words appear in the text.
With a gentle nudge, definitions and web links appear for archaic or obscure terms. Most recently, I used the search function to find the key scene where Willie Stark in All the King’s Men turned down a beer in favor of orange pop (Nehi, I hope.)
Still, like Jean-Luc Picard, I gotta have a real book for lounging on the beach or curling up in front of the fire; but for literary analysis, I’m an e-convert.