Clipping limit? An oxymoron? Those of us who love to mark up our books sometimes go overboard. I remember packing some of my old college textbooks and seeing how most of the text was highlighted in bright yellow. How does that help? an older and wiser me mused.
Enter the age of digital text. No marker required to do as much highlighting as I want. And with the Kindle, I can store and revisit my highlighted passages online.
However, there is a bit of a glitch. Amazon will only store and show a limited number of my “clippings” from the book on my Kindle page (kindle.amazon.com). Publishers and authors are rightfully wary of people clipping an outsized portion of the book and displaying it online.
For some books the publisher allows only a limited percentage of a book to be “clipped” and stored separately from the main body of the book, as normally happens when you add a highlight. If you exceed this limit then you will see fewer highlights on this website than you actually marked on your Kindle. Popular Highlights are not counted towards this clipping limit.
Now this doesn’t limit the number of highlights that you can make in the ebook itself on your Kindle; it just limits the number that you can view at your Kindle page online, “stored separately from the main body of the book.”
I really should say “amount” rather than “number” because the limit is set as a percentage of the book, not by the number of clippings. So, a few really large clippings could use up a limit of 10% of the book in rather quick fashion. Presumably, you could save a larger number if each one is smaller.
Limit clipping size
Another way to avoid exceeding the limit is to simply be judicious in your highlighting. I find that even though I am interested in many passages on a single page, I only need to highlight one of them to revisit them all later on. In fact, this more economical way of highlighting forces me to find the crux of what I think is important and allow the surrounding text to act as a gloss on that single passage I have highlighted.
Save more clippings with cut and paste technique
You can also export your highlights as a way of saving them. If you do this regularly, you can save all of your highlights and perhaps leave only the key ones visible on your Kindle page. I just do a copy / paste from my Highlights page into a Word doc or text file, delete the less important ones, and keep my reserve of space for visible passages as robust as I can.
When I was a student, I know this service would have saved me a LOT of time retyping passages from the text when I wrote a paper about it. In this context, all of the virtues of digital text for reflection and research are simply enhanced by the ability to store snippets of text where they are easy to access.