As I have posted before, Amazon collects a substantial amount of information regarding the reading habits of e-book readers. Among this information is which passages most readers highlighted in the book they read. Nowadays if you buy an e-book that has many reads, this information appears in your Kindle (although you can turn it off). You can see which passages where highlighted by readers before you and how many readers did this.
I guess many people will consider this a cool feature. But Amazon has gone one step further. It also includes this information in the “Shared Notes & Highlights” section that I described above. For authors this may be interesting as it provides a way to learn what passages of their books readers considered important. However, there is a problem.
Suppose many readers highlight a detail of a story that is key for the whole plot. For example:
Then I understood I had made a deadly blunder. The serial killer was not Mr. Barnes like I had suspected for the last few months. The killer was his wife, the seemingly mild-mannered Mrs. Barnes. She had fooled us all. And now, as I desperately drove through the storm, I faced the possibility that my whole family may have been murdered.
Such a passage will show up in this section as one of the most highlighted passages. A reader who has not bought the book may read this section and have the whole story/novel spoiled for them! I contacted Amazon about this issue and was told that my feedback would be forwarded to the Kindle development team.
All this technology, information, and new things you can do with e-books is exciting, but really, Amazon: spoiler alert!
Photo credit: Kurt Thomas Hunt / Foter / CC BY
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