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General Chat - anything Goes > Table of Contents- Question

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message 1: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Hi

A quick question- does anyone use the Table of Contents when viewing a kindle book? If so what for- novels, anthologies etc.

I rarely use them as Kindle saves where I am. Personally I don't see the point for novels- chapter 1 is, well, chapter 1. Unless there are maps, diagrams or other things to refer to I am not sure I would use it.

At present I don't have one in my novel but I am wondering if I should as apparently Kindle can be a bit flaky setting them up properly.

I was reading elsewhere some readers will not consider a book without TOC.

Thoughts on this as both authors and readers, please.


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9070 comments Never ever look at them Alexandra. But I only read novels on my kindle, I suppose reference books would be different


message 3: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments I only use them for short stories and anthologies - where I might want to go back to a particular one.


message 4: by Elle (last edited Dec 27, 2012 06:56AM) (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I don't think I ever have apart from the University books I have on my Kindle - then I use them to look for specific chapters that I need again


message 5: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Tell the truth, I haven't got a clue what I'd put in such a thing.


message 6: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments I thought that might be the result. Yes I think if it is an anthology or study books but I can't see the point for a novel.

Hmm I wish I had had my Uni books on Kindle- 6 courses all with multiple text books- no wonder I have a bad back. I don't think Kindles even existed then...

Thanks for the responses, you meade me feel a lot better.


message 7: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I only bought one on the Kindle because it was out of print. To be honest I don't mind the DTB uni books. I like the highlight the shit outta them. Not many of them are Kindlized either.


And for novels? Don't be so damn lazy and use the bookmark function, that is what i say.


message 8: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Hehe yes. I have to say the kindle isnt that great for text books anyway.
I am less likely to ignore a honky great text book sta next to me than hiding on my kindle. Not that I can afford to do any more courses. I have a degree and a diploma, best not be greedy;)


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments I put a table of contents into my anthology. My feedback, such as it is, suggests that people just read straight through and don't bother with the ToC. But I'm glad I put it in anyway, it didn't take me long and it gives people the choice. Like others have said, I can't really see the point for a novel either, but if I was publishing a novel, I'd probably still add a ToC, just in case it's useful to someone at some point. As Christian Slater says of his gun in True Romance:

"It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."


message 10: by Sara (new)

Sara Boyd (saraboydauthor) | 1412 comments I was about to include a TOC but, like Alexandra said, chapter 1 is just chapter 1 in a novel. I would include one if it was non-fiction or short story anthology. I only read novels on my kindle as well and before publishing never even knew they existed.


message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Tables of Contents are really useful from my point of view, even for novels. On a first reading, the TOC gives me a feel for the structure of a book: I know if it's got lots of short chapters or a few long ones. Why is that important? Well it means I know if I stand a reasonable chance of "just reading to the end of the chapter". Secondly, it's an easy way to jump to a particular chapter at a later time. Navigating around in a kindle book is never easy (one reason why it's a bit crap for text books), and anything that makes it a bit easier is to be encouraged. :)


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments Makes sense Tim. I don't use them myself, but I think I'll always try to include a ToC for the benefit of other readers who might approach books differently.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I frequently use toc for anthologies. I really like having active toc. would a book not having one put me off buying it? Not a chance.


message 14: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments i just look at the dots at the bottom to see if there is a pile of chapters or not


message 15: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments Hmm, yeah that could work too.


message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21833 comments I was told that chapters are handy for a reader in that it helps them remember where they are, (not everyone reads mine on Kindle, reading on a phone is apparently a different experience) and I sort of split the book up into chapters but I don't give chapters titles etc.


message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Louise-Lesley (Elle) wrote: "i just look at the dots at the bottom to see if there is a pile of chapters or not"

You don't get the dots on the iPad app.


message 18: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Jim wrote: "I was told that chapters are handy for a reader in that it helps them remember where they are, (not everyone reads mine on Kindle, reading on a phone is apparently a different experience) and I sor..."

I usually like to use chapters as a convenient break & I'll often just read to the end of the chapter (and sometimes the next one and the next one...)

Chapter titles is another matter, since they could arguably be spoilery. I'm debating at the moment whether to have chapter titles in my novel...


message 19: by Sara (new)

Sara Boyd (saraboydauthor) | 1412 comments My novel has chapter titles. But just because... at the time I thought I could somehow make them 'meta tags' on my blog. That turned out to be a bit more complicated and didn't work out but the novel is out with the chapter titles. Don't know if I should do the same thing with my next one.


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