Sunday, July 24, 2016

Processing Kindle Highlights in ConnectedText

During the past year or three, I have bought (and rented) more and more Kindle books. One of the reasons why I like to read on the Kindle has to do with the ease of note-taking. Highlighting a passage and pressing “highlight” is about as easy as it gets.

The question of how to deal with these notes after I have taken them is just as easy (to me). The notes are pretty much useless as long as they reside in the myclippings.txt on (some of the) Kindles, so I have to transfer them to my ConnectedText Notes project.

So, how do I do this? I bookmarked “https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights” so that I can easily go to that website. When I am finished with a particular book, I will copy all the highlights and post them into the topic that I previously created for that book. Since I am reading at the moment Michael Graziano,l (2015) Consciousness and the Social Brain. Oxford University Press, let me use it as an example: The topic is called “(Graziano 2015)”, and like all my bibliographical topics it has the following structure
===Reference===

===Notes===

[[created:=20160724]]
[[$CATEGORY:Book]] 
I usually also add the day I bought the book and when I finished reading it, that it is a Kindle book and other bibliographical information. So it looks like this:
===Reference===
Graziano, Michael (2015) //Consciousness and the Social Brain//.
Oxford University Press
===Notes===
Kindle book (book was originally published in 2013)
[[bought:=20160723]]
----
I then paste all the highlights underneath the the four dashes (which result in a line in ConnectedText’s viewer).

A single note (or highlight) will appear like this:

Add a note
I use the term consciousness inclusively. It refers both to the information about which I am aware and to the process of being aware of it. In this scheme, consciousness is the more general term and awareness the more specific.Read more at location 228

I search for “Add a note” and replace it with nothing. The same for “Read more”.

After this mechanical process, the real work begins: I will try to integrate these notes into the rest of my project. So the passage just described becomes [[Graziano’s definitions of consciousness and awareness]] and the passage itself becomes the content of the new note. It will also contain links to other definitions and observations about consciousness that are already contained in the project.

Some notes will not be as obvious, and I may leave those ones in the book entry for the moment, but they usually will be integrated with the rest of the notebooks as I read more about a certain subject matter. In any case, the integration of the notes with previous notes taken represents the main work of note-taking for me.

4 comments:

jws02459 said...

I've been using a browser plugin called Bookcision (http://www.norbauer.com/bookcision/) which does a decent job of extracting highlighted passages and clearing out Kindle's cruft. But I'm still stymied by how to reference Kindle texts when I cite them. The Amazon 'locations," work well enough if you need to go back and look at the context of the note, but they are worthless in footnotes. Ideally there ought to be a way of extracting and saving the "real page numbers" for the books that have them, but Amazon tells me that they are still working on a way to do that. Have you come up with any workarounds?

MK said...

I agree that page numbers really are essential.

I did not know Bookcision.

GretchenJoanna said...

I have somehow managed several times to find my Kindle notes and highlighted passages on the Amazon website, and with difficulty to paste them into a Word document for myself, but it is tedious, and I always have a hard time finding my way back to the place from which to acquire them. Judging from your experience, what I need is ConnectedText! I would read more books on Kindle, too, if I could more easily access my interactions with the content! I will check it out - thank you!

Derick said...

Very nice. I did not know this facility exists and Bookcision makes it that much better.