Johannes Kleske wrote an ode to Readwise, and, knowing Johannes to be both wise and organized, I dove in. Without bogarting his description of the app and its place in the digital ecosystem, Readwise is quickly summarized as “highlights management.”
I fed Readwise my Kindle highlights and my iBooks highlights, which amounted to a lot of highlights for someone who long ago rejected the very notion of ebooks.
The result has been a surfacing of much interesting material I’d long forgotten about, thoughts I once felt useful enough to note, now fed back to me, outside of the original flow, living to inform another day.
Like The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband, a book I loved. For paragraphs like this:
But that’s clubbing. At least you can stand for hours without saying a word in a club or sneak out without being noticed. But you can’t do that at a party. At a party, you have to be present. At a party, you have to engage. Mingle. This is where my game falls apart. The social situation at a party falls way outside of my normal daily parameters. Things are not on my terms; events unfold by the terms of the gathering itself. In the midst of this, I feel that all eyes are on me—my own included—monitoring and judging my performance from start to finish. Don’t do anything wrong or unusual, because everyone will think the worst of you for the rest of your life. It’s pretty fucked-up in my opinion.
Readwise is more than simple management of highlights: it’s got some light gamification built in, some very flexible highlight-sharing tools, and has proved simply fun to use.
(Coincidentally, Ton has been experimenting with highlights management too, using an Obsidian plug-in.)