Analogic Processing and Analysis – Part II –
Reading From The Back Of The Book –
2008 Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips
Cricket House Studios – USXA1 – USA1
Reading From The Back Of The Book –
When I approach a book, the first thing I do generally is to open the back cover first & scan the entire index, read the glossary and look over the bibliography. Then, I open the front plate with the publisher, author, date, Library of Congress number and how many times this work has been published.
Then, the next thing I check is the Table of Contents and read it thoroughly to understand the flow and structure of the materials found in the book. I quick scan the preface and introduction. By habit, I note whether the author of the preface, introduction is the same as the author or editor of the book. And, I do read & consider acknowledgments, in honor of page because it tells me more about the author &/or editor personally as well as showing me the lines of the connections in this work & author’s life when this work was written.
Sometimes, I stop there & check the internet for references to these groups and organizations listed in the acknowledgments, and items of interest from the index, glossary and bibliography from the back of the book. Occasionally, I check for other titles by this author at the Library of Congress and in National Research Databases, rarely do I check online booksellers for their other works but sometimes it yields the other information I’m seeking.
I also check to see if this author / editor / editorial group has their own website, if it interests me at this point. I scan read the materials there and bookmark it. Generally, it is a 10-minute idea search, scan & find for this process, not 3 hours.
Anything else that has grabbed my curiosity – I make a note to check later. And, I do check these at another time. Often, at this point, I place these notes in the groups of information to which they might apply such that filing, sorting and grouping information occurs as I go.
After my initial backwards & forward covers, handling of a book or magazine –
1. If it has ever been read by anyone before me, I look for their marks on it. This allows me to use the path they’ve already examined in this authored work. Where are pages dog-eared, worn, or thinned by use? Where does the book or magazine fall open on its own in my hands from prior use?
2. I look for smudges, skin oils, stains, marks, notes, any folds, crumples or water spots on pages where it was open for awhile by previous readers. Then, I check the info on those pages by quick scan and notes first. Not infallible, but also I look for interesting paths into the materials which generally this yields.
3. After this, I close the book, keeping in mind what I came to find “it in part of” –> what bigger picture, question, research, creation, solution or other knowledge & facts to which it serves, connects & fits. Only then do I start to look for what I need in its covers. I open to anywhere in the middle & work my ways outwards in both directions, by jumps & leaps scanning both ways – forwards & backwards at once. No note taking – just exploring.
4. Usually, as I do these explorations, I have a stack of 3×5 cards, post-it notes, colorful little post-it flags .5″ x 1.5″ and pencils to write or place in the seams of pages until later. Generally, on the first pass scan, I put 3×5 cards in place for note-taking later, post-its color coded to the material – occasionally writing a subject matter category on the end that sticks out of the book. Sometimes, I fold over the corner of the page or place a flag on the area where later I want to make notes, then put a larger post-it note or 3×5 card in between the page at the seam or poking out the side of the book for later. Where I want the first notes made – or the more critical to my current search, I leave a pencil in the fold of the seam which leaves the book or magazine partially open to lead me later into the material from the search I’ve already made about a particular set of knowledge.
Written by Cricket Diane C “Sparky” Phillips, 2008
“Creating the Tangible from the Impossible every day.”
Cricket House Studios – USXA1 – USA1 – 041408