Have you ever noticed the Popular Highlights that are available on Kindle ebooks?
Kindles have a lot of features and some of them are easy to overlook. Popular Highlights is one feature that I’ve never paid much attention to. In fact I usually have them turned off so I don’t get distracted by them while reading. But it’s actually kind of a cool feature when you think about it.
As the name suggests, Popular Highlights show the most highlighted passages that readers have added to Kindle books.
It’s a unique feature that’s not available on other types of ebooks, just Kindle books.
Amazon also displays how many times each passage has been highlighted. It’s kind of crazy when several thousand people highlight the same sentence.
Obviously the more popular a book is the more highlights it will have. A lot of books don’t have any popular highlights. I think it takes at least three highlighters to make a highlighted section show up under popular.
There are two ways to view Popular Highlights in Kindle books. You come across them naturally while reading, and you can also view the full list of popular highlights from the Notes list.
On Kindles you select the Notes tab from the Go To page and select Popular. Or you can select Notes from the menu.
However, Popular Highlights only show up when you have the setting enabled.
On Kindles go to Settings > Reading Options > Highlights & About This Book > Popular Highlights.
Fire tablets and Kindle apps also have Popular Highlights that can be accessed from the notes section and turned on and off in settings.
Jay Vansickle says
I actually really enjoy seeing what other people have highlighted. But…not in physical books. 😉
John O says
I really don’t understand why so many people highlight the same phrases. Most of the highlights aren’t that significant. What am I missing???
G W says
Significance of a highlight depends on why it was highlighted. Often times it might simply be someone giving themselves a reminder to check into something deeper. One of the freebies on Kindles is the New Oxford American Dictionary, it had the highest highlight count of any books, the highest being ‘New Oxford American Dictionary’
Before the switch to read.amazon.com, every e-book had a discussion page, where anyone could share their thoughts on that particular book. See what people highlighted and/or added a note to in real time. A running chronology of activity.
And should you choose you could adopt the same highlight as your own, whether you owned the book or not.
Sounds complicated and messy, and that might be why they did away with it.
If I highlight a passage that others have highlighted, I would expect the highlight count to be incremented. But, it never happens. Even if I return a book and then check it out again, the highlight count isn’t incremented. For instance, if something has been highlighted 100 times and I also highlight the exact same passage, then I would expect the highlight count to go up to 101 at some point. But I’ve checked back weeks later and it never counts my highlight.
John B. says
Is there a way to download all of a book’s popular highlights? I use Bookcision to get all of MY highlights off the Kindle online notes and highlights page and put them into a separate document. I would love to use the “wisdom of the crowd” to do the same for popular highlights.
Do you know how to do this?
Not that I know of.
Frankly its a useless gimmick. Everyone seem to highlight the same as everybody else, and its always some line of some percieved wisom, totally dorky.
Ive never found a line that only a few people highlighted.
Been using kindle for years, then went back to real books + audible (v enjoyable for long drives or bedtime stories).
Just came back to kindle for a book I’m desperate to get hold of AND I’m finally asking “what is the point of highlights”.
I thought it would give me all these readers’ insights into why they highlighted the passage – but NO. It’s just a list of highlights and 100 people highlighted it.
Or am I missing something and therefore great wisdom?
Owen John Evans says
So, you highlight something for reasons of your own and ” the system” records it, logs it, etc for data analysis purposes. Big brother in action!!! I will never highlight anything from now on.
B Botlon says
Only the first 8-10 ‘popular highlights’ show up on my Kindle. Has anyone had this happen / found a solution??