After thinking about such questions, my mind began to consider the egotistical flip side of this highlighting business—what, if anything, would other readers make of the passages I chose to highlight?
Turns out, probably not. As the amazon Kindle FAQ page, under the topic "Popular Highlights," informs us:
The Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Apps each provide a very simple mechanism for adding highlights. Every month, Kindle customers highlight millions of book passages that are meaningful to them.
Unless at least two other people have underlined the same passage that I have, it's not going to appear as a highlight in another Kindle e-book. So much for my delusions of grandeur, believing I might indirectly influence the popular romance-reading public towards a greater awareness of feminist issues...
Or does it? Turns out that the Kindle has another highlighting feature, one they've dubbed "Public Notes":
This feature allows Kindle customers to make their highlights and notes available for anyone to see. Now authors, thought leaders, passionate readers, professors and all Kindle users can opt-in to share their notes with other readers, helping friends, family members, and other Kindle users who choose to follow them to get more from their reading. If someone you follow has highlighted a passage in a book and has turned on Public Notes for the book, you'll see that passage highlighted along with the name of the person who highlighted it. You'll also see the notes that they made in the book.
Do you pay attention to the highlights other people have made in the books you read? Do you follow other readers specifically so you can see their highlights and notes? Or do you ignore highlights completely? Or find them so annoying you've decided to shut them off entirely?