Update: Amazon has changed the online location of the highlights in your Kindle library and (thankfully!) made it easier to copy-and-paste them: read.amazon.com/notebook. Most of the steps below are identical, or require self-evident adjustment.
When I read ebooks (usually from the Amazon Kindle store), I highlight large amounts of text. Rather than simply highlight a phrase here or there, I intentionally highlight enough of the text so that the highlights create a condensed version of the essential aspects of the entire book. It takes a little more time to get through the book, but I consider the value in increased retention of the content (and the ability to review over time) to more than make up for it. And Kindle makes extracting highlights easy. Here’s how:
1. Browse to the online Kindle web app
Browse to kindle.amazon.com and log in using the same account you use on your Kindle.
2. Locate the book you want to view
It may be easiest to search for it, then click the link that tells you how many highlights you have.
3. Copy all the highlights
Select all the highlights for the book and copy them to your clipboard.
Note: if you are an Evernote user, you may find it easiest to use the Evernote web clipper and clip the selected text into a new note. I use an intermediate step to clean things up a bit before archiving in Evernote (see next step).
4. Paste the highlights in a note or document
At this point, you can simply paste the highlights into a document or note.
I recommend pasting the copied text into a good text editor1 and running three “find-and-replace” operations to clean it up:
Read more atand replace with “”.
• Delete this highlightand replace with “”.
Add a noteand replace with “”.
Now your highlights should look like this:
Select all the text in the text editor, copy it, and paste the notes and highlights into Evernote or a document. This provides unformatted notes with the Kindle location number so you can reference it again if needed.