Skip to main content

Jeremy Cherfas

Further adventures in extricating Kindle notes and highlights

2 min read

Having taken a look inside the My Clippings text file extracted by Calibre, I could see that as a way to move forward. Then, Chris Aldrich commented

“If you sync your books/notes to the Kindle desktop app, you can also alternately export your notes and highlights from individual texts as raw html with one of their interface buttons from the Kindle app”.

Alas, I can see no such button. At least not on the desktop.

A little disappointed, I futzed around on the internet for a while, where the collected wisdom is not very wise. A lot of the advice riffs on “a) Copy the notes and highlights you want to share, and paste them into a txt. file or a docx file.” Either that, or it requires Evernote.

Harrumphing, I tried the Bookcision bookmarklet, on Chrome, and it works beautifully. I downloaded three different packages for the data: text, XML and JSON. The one slight problem is that I have no idea how to turn the JSON file into presentable HTML. I could do it for the XML, but while thinking about that I suddenly remembered that I do also have the Kindle app on my iPhone. No idea why, as I don't believe I'd ever read any book on the phone. (The only document in it was a podcast script, which suggests that I may have tried using it for that purpose before I discovered the brilliant Teleprompter.css in Marked 2.)

So I fired up Kindle on the phone, downloaded one of the books I'd marked up, looked at the marginalia and there was an option to share an HTML file as email. And lo, untouched, it works beautifully.

So, I need first to figure out some quiet little changes to the CSS for those notes (or not) and then I have a workflow: Read the book on Kindle (or, I suppose phone, if I'm desperate), open Kindle App on phone, export notes as HTML, prettify (or not) and copy notes to a new post, which could incorporate additional thoughts, review-like stuff etc.