Mark Mason muses in The Spectator on the fate of the footnote in the Kindle. I recently hand-coded my Kindle ebook H.P. Lovecraft As Psychogeographer, New York City 1924-26 which had thousands of footnotes, using special round-trip links. But Mark rightly points out that readers need some kind of visual flag to indicate when a footnote link contains substantial additional commentary by the author…

“Can’t risk missing those, can you? So you have to look up each and every note, just in case. Or, as I’ve started doing, scanning the notes each time I start a new chapter and trying to remember which ones are proper and which I can ignore. All very cumbersome.”

So should Kindle coders need to abide by a convention whereby links to ‘substantial’ footnotes are at least placed in bold?

The New York Times also frets about the fate of the footnote.

About these ads