Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tools I use: Kindle annotations

An example of how I use the Kindle service for capabilities beyond basic e-book features: I recently read The Facebook Effect (on my Kindle 2), and remembered coverage of Friendster’s scalability/etc. problems therein. Rather than flipping through a hard-copy book, I went to the AmazonKindle page, signed in, selected the book from my collection of Amazon information items, and searched for annotations containing “Friendster”:

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I found the reference I was thinking of, clicked the hyperlink, and reviewed the passage in the Kindle PC client:

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Relative to some of the topics in the recent Nicholas Carr book (The Shallows), I find that:

  • Reading books on my Kindle is conducive to more rather than less focus and information retention
    • I do not get distracted by hyperlinks or other non-dead-tree aspects of reading e-books, and the hypertext features, especially in-context dictionary definitions and annotations, are often handy
  • The ability to annotate e-books and the flexibility in subsequently reviewing the annotations are very useful
  • I appreciate the ability to interact with e-books – and my annotations on e-books – on multiple device types
    • I also like the ability to see others’ (aggregated) highlights when I’m reading e-books on the Kindle iPad client (and am hopeful the feature will appear in other Kindle clients soon); if you don’t, you can turn off the feature
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