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How To Manage Book Annotations While Reading On The Kindle

Bakari Chavanu 08-09-2010

<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/kindlemac.png”>annotations while readingWe have published several articles about the Kindle e-reader, and as a reading tool for novels, it’s great. But what about if you’re a student and you need to access your notes and other annotations you make in your Kindle e-books? You can’t export or email your annotations directly from the Kindle or Kindle app. But through your Kindle account, Amazon has provided a way for you to get at them.


When you make highlights, bookmarks, and notes on your Kindle (this is also includes the mobile Kindle app) your annotations are automatically synced back to your Kindle account. Amazon aptly calls this service, “Read.Review.Remember“.

Amazon remotely stores your notes and highlights so that they become a part of what is called Popular Highlights, an aggregation of highlights by other readers of the same book that can be viewed on both your Kindle and the Amazon Kindle website.

annotations while reading

Now if you’re a little surprised by this and don’t want Amazon saving your highlights this way, you can actually disable this automatic feature on your Kindle by going into the app’s Settings and switching off Popular Highlights.

annotations while reading


Now back to your annotations. On the same Amazon Kindle page, when you click on Your Books or Your Highlights in the menu bar, it delivers up a list of your Kindle e-books.

annotation strategies

On this page, you can set the status of your e-books as either read, stopped reading, wish to read, or drop off the list. You can also rate your e-books as you would anything else in the Amazon store.

But what is most useful for this page is the ability to view your annotations. Under Content, you can click the highlights and notes button for your books and it will deliver up your annotations.


annotation strategies

The book location is included for each annotation, and you can also add notes and delete highlights. If need be, you could print out your annotations or save them as a PDF.

Now for the most part, this service, in its beta stage, is pretty rudimentary. And sadly, some e-book publishers can actually set the amount of highlights that can be “clipped” and stored on your account. That’s a real bummer. So next I will explain another way to access your annotations.



Kindle For The Mac Or PC

Accessing your Kindle annotations online has it limitations. You can’t separate highlights from notes, nor can you read your annotations in context. With the Amazon Kindle for Mac or PC Should You Buy a Kindle or Just Use the Free App? Just about everyone owns an e-reader these days -- and most people own Kindles. But do you really need a Kindle when you can just use the Kindle app? Let's find out... Read More , you can get more access to them.

When you click on one of the ”Read more at location…” hotlinks on your annotations page, it will open up the desktop version of the Kindle e-reader, if you have it installed.

This version of the e-reader will allow you to view three different annotations (highlights, notes, bookmarks) separately.

Sadly however, you can’t print or save your annotations, which basically stems from a fear by the publishers that you will share e-book content with others.


These limitations are hopefully something that Amazon will address in future updates of their e-reader apps and hardware, especially when they hear back from their customers that they want these limitations addressed. But for now, for us avid Amazon customers and Kindle users, we are not completely cut off from accessing our annotations.

If you have found workarounds for getting at your Kindle annotations, please let us know about it.

Related topics: Amazon Kindle, Ebooks, eReader, Note-Taking Apps, Reading.

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