17 July 2017

Updates for Kindle Notes & Highlights

If you’re like me an avid reader of e-books – or at least a moderately enthusiast reader, as my pace gets slower and slower each year – you must have, at some point, used the Kindle to highlight text or keep short notes. It’s especially useful when writing reviews, as I regularly do, both to keep track of key plot points in the book and of passages to quote later in the review. Each highlight and note is stored locally on the device in a text file named ‘My Clippings’; you can copy the file to a PC by simply connecting the Kindle via an USB cable.

Amazon offers another way to access your personal Kindle notes that I discovered sometime later: a private web page in your Amazon account. It has recently received a well-deserved redesign, which partially prompted me to write about it here. This method only works for e-books from the Kindle store and if you regularly connect the Kindle to the internet and sync contents – which you probably do every once in a while just to download new books to the device. It’s slightly more convenient than physically connecting the Kindle to a PC, and the notes are nicely formatted and grouped by book. You can also jump directly into the Kindle online reader to see the context of the note, it you don’t quite remember where it was, and remove notes and highlights you no longer need. The disadvantage being that notes made in books outside the Kindle Store and in documents sent from the web are not stored here – and I read a fair number of both on my Kindle. For those, the only way to access notes remains the local text file I mentioned above.

Kindle notes on the web

Another pleasant recent discovery is that online Kindle notes are available on my Goodreads profile as well. Following the purchase of Goodreads by Amazon, this integration was launched about a year ago, but doesn’t seems to have evolved much since. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have access to your highlights here, to be able to quickly share them with the book reading community and use them in reviews. By default, notes are imported as private, as to avoid possible spoilers for people who haven’t read the book, and, as far as I can tell, are only visible on the book page, not on your profile or on a dedicated list like in the Kindle profile. Hopefully Amazon is still working on the feature, however slow.

Goodreads with Kindle Notes and Highlights

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