Kindle Fire Highlighting Failure

I was planning to write an updated report on how much I’m enjoying my Kindle Fire. There was a learning curve when I first opened the box, but once I figured out a few basic functions, the Kindle became a breeze and a pleasure to use.

I’ve enjoyed browsing the Kindle store, and found a number of books I’ve been wanting to read. One is “Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy,” by MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes. (This “Twilight” isn’t about vampires.)

“Twilight of the Elites” is a great book, examining our collective loss of trust in virtually all the major institutions — the pillars — of society. In particular, Hayes analyzes how and why the “elites” who rule by virtue of “meritocracy” have failed us.

I’ve been reading the book for the past few evenings, highlighting many informative sentences using the Kindle highlighting function. This morning, I opened the book on the Kindle and found that all my painstaking highlighting is gone. The highlighting has disappeared!

Want an explanation, or more important, a fix? Who knows? The Kindle comes has no manual. You can’t even access the Kindle “User Guide” if you don’t have wireless access. Even the old-fashioned, paperback “Missing Manual,” by Peter Meyers, which I checked out of the library, provides no answers.

The “Missing Manual” has two pages explaining the simple technique for highlighting passages. But it says nothing about the possibility of the highlighting disappearing, or how to get it back.

On the positive side, I can tell you that Christopher Hayes’ book appears to be an excellent  addition to the commentary on our present state of political dysfunction and generalized institutional crisis. I’m less than halfway through, so I can’t give you an in-depth review. And without benefit of highlighting, it’s going to be hard to ever write a review of the book. I simply don’t have a photographic memory for what I’ve read.

By way of comparison, I’ve used the highlighting function on the black-and-white Nook with great success. The sensitivity of the Nook touchscreen is a bit imprecise for selecting passages by touching the screen with your finger, but it works. The Kindle Fire screen is more sensitive to the touch, sometimes a little too sensitive for perfect highlighting, but it also works. The Kindle touchscreen is so sensitive that it’s difficult to browse your library or the Kindle stores without inadvertently opening a book or movie.

To sum up, I’ve reverted to my default reaction to the Kindle Fire: disappointment and frustration. The Kindle Fire is a powerful device. But the user needs to know how to control the power.

Does anyone out there know anything about bugs in the Kindle highlighting function?

— John Hayden 

2 thoughts on “Kindle Fire Highlighting Failure

  1. If you haven’t already, you should check out the benefits of enrolling in Amazon Prime. As a Kindle owner you are entitled to lots of little, additional perks with your membership (e.g. watching TV shows and movies in your Kindle; free books). I would encourage you to consider it especially if you do a lot of on line shopping through Amazon since almost every item ships free, regardless of its cost.


    • Thanks for the tip, Barbara. I’ll look into Prime. Now that I’ve tried the Nook and Kindle Fire, I’m more convinced than ever that there’s an Apple tablet in my future. Apple products are always better and easier to use, in my experience.


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