I don’t understand a lot about social networking yet, but I have figured out that one important aspect can be summarized as the ability to say, “Hey, have you seen this?” Just this morning in my Twitter stream I had a note from Cindy Rollins which said in essence, “Hey, have you seen this free Kindle edition of Wendell Berry’s book of essays The Art of the Commonplace?”
The note wasn’t to me personally, but to everyone who follows her on Twritter, and that’s so much the better. Cindy had found something useful , and with a click and a few characters typed she had recommended it to people who had declared their interest in knowing about the things she recommends. I happened to know about this book (in fact, we sell it), but if I hadn’t her endorsement would have been important to me. And I was certainly grateful to hear about a free Kindle version.
I’ve downloaded the book, and am glad to have it. But after taking a quick look I am reminded of how contemptuous traditional publishers are about ebooks. There is not only not a clickable table of contents in the book, but no table of contents at all that I can find. And the usual Kindle method of going to the next or previous chapter (clicking right or left on the 5-way button) doesn’t work. This would be bad enough in a single topic book, but a collection of essays?
I will probably make my own table of contents using bookmarks, since without one the book is not very useful.